Fault Curvature May Control Where Big Quakes Occur

Major earthquakes, magnitude 8.5 and stronger, occur where faults are mostly flat, say geologists from the University of Oregon and University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. Curvier faults, they report in the journal Science, are less likely to experience earthquakes exceeding that strength.

Large earthquakes, known as mega-quakes, were long thought to be possible only at the boundary between fast converging, young tectonic plates until two giant earthquakes. However the magnitude 9.4 quake in Indonesia in 2004 and the 9.0 quake in Japan in 2011 disconfirmed the theory.

Since then giant earthquakes have been thought to be possible on any large fault. In the new paper researchers show that the maximum size of earthquakes may be controlled by another parameter Рthe fault curvature.

FULL STORY : www.sciencenewsline.com/news/2016112515160013.html

DATE : 25 November 2016

SOURCE : Science Newsline