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Mar 27 / Dave Schumaker

Predicting Deep Sea Earthquakes

A new study to be published in Nature shows that some deep-sea earthquakes can be predicted by foreshocks.

For the purposes of the study, the researchers defined a foreshock as any tremor of at least 2.5 magnitude on the Richter scale. Earthquakes were tremors of no less than 5.4 magnitude. The researchers then declared a hypothetical “alarm” for an hour within a 15-kilometer radius of the epicenter of every foreshock. This retroactive and “naпve” early-warning system would have predicted six of the nine major earthquakes that occurred along the two faults between 1996 and 2001, researchers said. The finding suggests that short-term prediction – the ability to forecast an earthquake in the hours or minutes before it hits – may be feasible under certain circumstances.

As noted in the article, this method can only be used for certain types of undersea earthquakes.

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