Better forecasting of damaging earthquake swarms may now be more possible after scientists helped to confirm a theory by USGS seismologist James H. Dieterich of how and why swarms occur. The scientists investigated a "super-swarm" of earthquakes offshore Tokyo that struck in the summer of 2000. The research, by Geological Survey of Japan scientist Shinji Toda, USGS scientist Ross Stein, and Geographical Survey Institute of Japan scientist Takeshi Sagiya, will be the cover article in the Sept. 5 edition of Nature. Both Japanese authors were recent post-doctoral scientists at the USGS in Menlo Park, California. In the super-swarm of earthquakes the authors studied, a staccato-like burst of 7,000 magnitude-3 or larger shocks occurred over 2 months about 100 miles south of Tokyo, underneath the Pacific Ocean. There were 45 magnitude-5 shocks and 5 magnitude-6 shocks.
The above story is based on materials provided by United States Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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