Is it possible to predict earthquakes? not yet. However, this issue has been at the center of scientific research for decades, as experts have analyzed data from previous earthquakes in search of signs that could be taken as precursors of an impending shock. In a new study published in the Scientific Journal SciencesConducted by two researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research (Cnrs), Quentin Pelletre and Jean-Mathieu Noquet, it shows how some large earthquakes precede fault slip acceleration, which can be found two hours before surface earthquakes occur. The study was conducted by analyzing GPS measurements of more than 90 earthquakes of magnitude 7 or greater that occurred around the world. As mentioned earlier, earthquakes cannot be formally predicted, so this is a scientific study that constitutes a step forward in the search for possible preemptive signals of earthquakes, which can – and the condition is a must – trigger an early warning and warning system for people.
Doglioni (Ingv): «Useful information from GPS»
Commenting on the study, the head of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Ingv) Carlo Doglione explained, “The research shows how the Earth is constantly sending us signals that we cannot adequately measure yet, but which in fact can give us key information about the mechanisms of the dynamics of the Earth’s crust and the results open up.” promising scenarios for predicting large earthquakes and confirms that a GPS network can also provide valuable information that can be monitored in real time.” But Professor Doglione is keen to point out that “the data is not yet strong enough to say with certainty that fault slip can be considered a reliable initial signal, Given that the analysis was consistent with 58 out of 90 tremors, and they still remain, to understand whether it can be applied only to earthquakes of the compression type, such as those mainly examined in the study, or also to earthquakes of the broad type, such as those located in the Apennines.
Study and expert bafflement
The appearance of fault slip prior to a seismic event in several large earthquakes. In the study by Bletery and Nocquet, GPS data from more than 3,000 monitoring stations located around the world were analyzed, in order to measure fault displacements up to two hours before the seismic event recorded on Earth. Statistical analysis of the data revealed a signal consistent with a period of fault slip acceleration near the epicenter, beginning about 2 hours before the rupture. However, this aspect must be taken with the necessary measures, before starting to develop alarm systems that focus exclusively on these elements. It certainly represents a step forward, but as geophysicist Roland Borgmann of the University of California, Berkeley, points out, “It is not clear whether slow sliding accelerations along the fault are clearly related to large earthquakes or whether one-time events can be measured with the precision necessary to give A useful warning sign.
Cover photo: Ansa | Aerial photo of the center of Kahramanmaras in southeastern Turkey after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria
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