Saturday, 28 June 2014

Earthquake frequncy increasing: Rate of strong quakes doubles in 2014

If you think there have been more earthquakes than usual this year, you're right. A new study finds there were more than twice as many big earthquakes in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the average since 1979. "We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded," said lead study author
Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California. But even though the global earthquake rate is on the rise, the number of quakes can still be explained by random chance, said Parsons and co-author Eric Geist, also a USGS researcher. Their findings were published online June 21 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. With so many earthquakes rattling the planet in 2014, Parsons actually hoped he might find the opposite - that the increase in big earthquakes comes from one large quake setting off another huge shaker. Earlier research has shown that seismic waves from one earthquake can travel around the world and trigger tiny temblors elsewhere

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