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Sunday, February 18, 2018

'Big One' fears mount as earthquake 'cluster' strikes Pacific Ring of Fire






EARTHQUAKES and volcano eruptions around the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire’ have sparked fears that a ‘Big One’ quake is on the way.
By Tom Gillespie
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PUBLISHED: 08:44, Sun, Feb 18, 2018 | UPDATED: 08:44, Sun, Feb 18, 2018

       

       
Scientists in California have analysed 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped geological disaster zone, between 1990 and 2016.
They believe a cluster of tremors around the area could indicate a “big one” is due to hit.
Earthquakes have already struck in Japan, Tawain, Guam and Indonesia in the past few weeks.
Thorne Lay, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, said: "Based on the clustering of earthquakes in space and time, the area that has just slipped is actually more likely to have another failure."
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He added that "the surrounding areas have been pushed towards failure in many cases, giving rise to aftershocks and the possibility of an adjacent large rupture sooner rather than later."
Mr Lay said: "Taiwan, Guam and Japan are far apart relative to the static stress interactions, but one could examine the seismic shaking from an earlier event in the region of a later event to see if small earthquakes were triggered as the seismic waves went by which could have led to a cascade of failures culminating in a larger event.
"Until that type of analysis is done, causal connection between the events is very speculative.
"Earthquakes are happening frequently in the Ring of Fire, and some apparent space-time clustering could arise from purely random (non-interacting) activity."
The study comes after the Ring of Fire was hit by earthquakes in the first two weeks of February.
More than 180 people were injured and 17 killed when a 6.4magnitude quake struck Taiwan’s coast on February 6.
A series of tremors on reaching magnitudes as high as 5.7 shook the US territory of Guam.
Three earthquakes have hit Japan since February 11, with the largest measuring at 4.8 on the Richter scale.
The 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit late Tuesday night. According to reports, six people have been killed with hundreds injured. Almost 100 weaker earthquakes were detected along Taiwan's east coast in the last week
"In terms of volcanic history, however the current activity is still regarded as normal."