Friday, May 31, 2013

Seafloor 'Breathing' Could Help Forecast Big Earthquakes

By deploying data-collecting ocean-bottom seismometers, marine researchers can keep track of small earthquakes created by the flow of the tides in the deep ocean.

These small earthquakes are triggered by the expansion and contraction of the seafloor with the tides, which happens on a daily basis.

"The seafloor is almost breathing with the tides," said Maya Tolstoy, a geophysicist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory here in New York.

Tolstoy thinks these "tidal-triggering" events, if tracked effectively, could help marine researchers get a better sense of when the next big, tsunami-causing earthquake could happen.

[link - 7 Ways the Earth Changes in the Blink of an Eye]