Periodic Slowing of the Earth’s Rotation Would Cause Big Earthquakes

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 17:20

Scientists have believed that there could be a big increase in numbers of devastating earthquakes around the world next year.

Scientists believe variations in the speed of Earth’s rotation could trigger intense seismic activity, particularly in heavily populated tropical regions, Guardian reports.

Although such fluctuations in rotation are small – changing the length of the day by a millisecond – they could still be implicated in the release of vast amounts of underground energy, it is argued.

The link between Earth’s rotation and seismic activity was highlighted last month in a paper by Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.

“The correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year,” Bilham told the Observer last week.

In their study, Bilham and Bendick looked at earthquakes of magnitude 7 and greater that had occurred since 1900. “Major earthquakes have been well recorded for more than a century and that gives us a good record to study,” said Bilham.

They found five periods when there had been significantly higher numbers of large earthquakes compared with other times. “In these periods, there were between 25 to 30 intense earthquakes a year,” said Bilham. “The rest of the time the average figure was around 15 major earthquakes a year.”

The researchers searched to find correlations between these periods of intense seismic activity and other factors and discovered that when Earth’s rotation decreased slightly it was followed by periods of increased numbers of intense earthquakes. “The rotation of the Earth does change slightly – by a millisecond a day sometimes – and that can be measured very accurately by atomic clocks,” said Bilham.

Bilham and Bendick found that there had been periods of around five years when Earth’s rotation slowed by such an amount several times over the past century and a half. Crucially, these periods were followed by periods when the numbers of intense earthquakes increased.

This link is particularly important because Earth’s rotation began one of its periodic slowdowns more than four years ago. “The inference is clear,” said Bilham. “Next year we should see a significant increase in numbers of severe earthquakes. 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.”

Related News

How The Earth Looked Like 600 Million Years Ago

1397/2/19 14:44

2.7 Billion People of the World Exposed to Earthquakes

1396/11/1 16:17

Ozone Layer Closing Up Because Humans Did Something about It

1396/10/18 16:40

IRSC Introduces Quake Tracker App

1396/10/9 12:33

Technologies That Help Buildings Resist Earthquakes

1396/9/19 11:11

Researchers Investigate Experimental Behavior of the Seismic FAMD

1396/9/5 16:46

Earthquake Caused 6% of the Country’s Casualties

1396/9/5 12:35

Researcher of Mazandaran Science & Technology University Creates Anti-Seismic Bricks

1396/9/4 12:49

Scientists Investigate the Mystery about the Origin of Gold

1396/9/1 16:57

Iran’s Leader Visits Earthquake-Hit Kermanshah

1396/8/29 13:15

Japan’s Earthquake-Resistant Dome Houses

1396/8/27 12:12

Researchers Studying Quakes in Space

1396/8/24 12:26

Students of Islamic World to Set-up Mawkib in Earthquake Areas

1396/8/24 10:55

2017 Iran-Iraq Earthquake Harms Historical Sites in Western Iran

1396/8/23 13:56

Sarpol-e Zahab, Kermanshah Province, Iran / In Photos

1396/8/23 08:53

Dr. Velayati Extends Condolences to Iran-Iraq Border Earthquake

1396/8/22 13:09

Dr. Rahbar Orders IAU Branches of West Iran to Help Quake Victims

1396/8/22 12:00

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Orders Swift Rescue Operations to Help Quake Victims

1396/8/22 10:24

Powerful Earthquake Hits Iran-Iraq Border

1396/8/22 09:11

7.0-Magnitude Quake Hits Close to New Caledonia

1396/8/9 15:33

Earthquake Warnings Could be Made Minutes Sooner with Gravity Signals

1395/9/9 09:28

Earthquake in North-East of Tehran

1394/6/4 14:43

Opinions


Popular News

Latest News