As per a new report, the 2018 earthquakes are going to be higher in magnitude, and the main reason behind it is the slowing of Earth’s rotation. Two geophysicists have warned that there could be a rise in the number of high magnitude Earthquakes next year. The variations in the speed of Earth’s rotation could possibly trigger intense seismic activity, mainly in the tropical areas, as per the scientists. Geophysicists Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana and Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado carried out the research and found out that there is a close connection between the changes in the Earth’s rotation and the seismic activity.
The study revealed that although the fluctuations in Earth’s rotation are very small-length of the day is changed by a millisecond-still it results in the release of large amounts of underground energy. Bilham said that the correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggested that there is going to be an increase in number of intense earthquakes next year. Talking about Earth’s changing rotation, he said, “The rotation of the Earth does change slightly – by a millisecond a day sometimes – and that can be measured very accurately by atomic clocks.” He added that when Earth’s rotation slows down, the number of high-magnitude earthquakes increase and next year we are going to see a significant increase Earthquakes.
Bilham said, “We have had it easy this year. So far we have only had about six severe earthquakes. We could easily have 20 a year starting in 2018.” According to the scientists, although the exact location of the earthquakes cannot be exactly predicted, still it is expected that the regions near the equator are more prone to high-magnitude earthquakes.
For the study, Bilham and Bendick analyzed the earthquakes of magnitude seven and above that had occurred since 1900. They found out five specific periods when the earth experienced a higher number of intense earthquakes than in other times. Five years of slowing of Earth rotation was followed by an increase in the number of high-magnitude Earthquakes. They finally concluded that when the earth’s rotation slows down, it triggers more earthquakes of higher intensity. The rotation of Earth has slowed down since last four years, hence, they expect an increase in the number of major earthquakes next year.
Although it is still unclear that why the decrease in earth rotation is linked with earthquakes, still many scientists believe that earth’s core could be causing this two effects. They feel that the changes in the flow of molten iron within Earth’s outer core might be impacting both the planet’s speed of rotations well as the frequency of seismic activity.
Normally it is known that the tidal friction caused by the moon’s effect on Earth results in slowing of earth’s rotation and as a result, it triggers the length of the day. But the latest research depicting the correlation between Earth’s rotation and the seismic activity is a very interesting and welcoming one, and this could help in the prediction of future earthquakes as well as the areas they are going to hit. Fellow geologist Peter Molnar told Science that the correlation they have found is remarkable and deserves investigation. The latest research paper was presented at the annual meeting of Geological Society of America.
However, soon the risks of the earthquake will be efficiently minimised as an international team of scientists has developed a new software tool that can calculate the possibilities of triggering humanmade earthquakes.
Two scientists at Stanford University, California have come up with a new software tool that can reduce the jeopardy of activating human-made earthquakes. The software titled as ‘Fault Slip Potential (FSP)’, will be a free software and will be available across numerous platforms, reported China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. The downloading option for the new software will be starting from 2nd March 2017.