Monday, March 25, 2013

Foreshocks Announce Future Earthquakes on Some Faults

Ruptures along the trace of the magnitude-7.2 earthquake in Baja California, Mexico in 2010. The earthquake ruptured along a plate boundary, and is one of several which shows signs of foreshocks caused by slow movement prior to the earthquake, a new study finds.


After a destructive earthquake, scientists sifting through the rumbles that preceded the big event often find foreshocks.

Foreshocks are smaller temblors that strike in the days and hours before a moderate-to-large earthquake. They're puzzling. Not all earthquakes have foreshocks, and despite decades of effort, no one has successfully found a way to predict earthquakes using foreshocks.

Now, a new study may help explain some of the mysteries surrounding these enigmatic earthquakes.

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