Is a massive earthquake on the way? Ring of Fire activity sparks fears of a ‘big one’ after scientists warn tremor clusters make a killer quake more likely

Saturday, February 17, 2018
By Paul Martin

Near the end of January, a slew of Ring of Fire activity took place in many places
At the time, the UN tweeted that the Pacific Ring of Fire was ‘active’
This month, a new set of earthquakes took place near Guam, Taiwan and Japan
A study suggests that certain earthquakes can result in aftershock activity on the margins of the area that slipped, producing a ‘halo of aftershocks’

16 February 2018

Earthquake activity has returned to the Pacific Ring of Fire, and now a new study has backed up fears that a huge tremor is on the way.

Over the past few weeks, quakes have hit near Japan, Guam and Taiwan around the planet’s so-called ‘Ring of Fire’ – a horseshoe-shaped geological disaster zone.

New research in California says aftershocks can occur on the margins of the area in which the quake took place following a cluster of tremors.

There may also be the possibility of a ‘big one’ in the immediate area, according to the researchers.

The study, published in in the journal Science Advances, involved an analysis of 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire between 1990 and 2016.

It showed that most of the aftershock activity occurred on the margins of the areas where the faults slipped during the main earthquakes.

Most earthquakes occur when tectonic plates meet and slide against each other, and quakes occur when the strength of that movement is greater than the strength of the rocks, causing a failure at what is known as the fault line: a line on a rock surface or the ground.

This energy is released as shock waves that lead to an earthquake.

‘This intuition has been challenged by statistical treatments of seismic data that indicate that, based on the clustering of earthquakes in space and time, the area that has just slipped is actually more likely to have another failure,’ said Thorne Lay, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz.

‘The truth appears to be more nuanced.

The Rest…HERE

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