Tidal Forces May Predict Megaquakes

Research shows high tides trigger tremors

Earthquake

Earthquake     Photo: Martin Luff/Flickr

Researchers in Japan say that monitoring tidal forces may help predict major earthquakes like the one that triggered a massive tsunami last March. Sachiko Tanaka from the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention pored over data from tides and underwater tremors recorded between 1976 and 2011 in a 100,000-kilometer-wide area surrounding the 2011 quake's epicenter. Tanaka found that minor tidal tremors peaked just before the disaster and vanished afterwards. The added pressure of high tides above highly stressed faults triggers small tremors that could signify an imminent upheaval. Tanaka observed the same effect leading to the 2004 Indonesia megaquake. She hopes to use the method to help predict future seaquakes.

Read more at New Scientist

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