Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trapped Water Cause Of Regular Tremors Under Vancouver Island

Date:
January 4, 2009
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Researchers are offering the first compelling evidence to explain regular tremors under Vancouver Island.

University of British Columbia researchers are offering the first compelling evidence to explain regular tremors under Vancouver Island.

The Cascadia megathrust fault, named for its massive but infrequent earthquakes, runs along the length of North America's western coast from northern Vancouver Island to northern California and is the boundary between two of the Earth's tectonic plates. An area on the fault line – approximately 35 kilometres under Vancouver Island – has also seen surprisingly regular "slips," accompanied by small tremors – roughly every 14 months. The last tremors recorded in this area were in May and lasted for about month, although none were strong enough to be felt by humans.

Megathrust fault lines in the region where episodic tremors occur are structurally weak and prone to slip and slide, but until now scientists have been unable to explain why. In a study published in today's edition of the journal Nature, UBC researchers Pascal Audet, Michael Bostock, Nicolas Christensen and Simon Peacock demonstrate how water trapped in a portion of the fault area escapes periodically after pressure build-up, which in turn lubricates the tectonic plates and causes them to slip and slide.

"Scientists have offered different theories but this is the first detailed glimpse at the geological mechanics beneath the island," says lead author Audet, who conducted the study as a PhD student at UBC's Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

"While scientists are still a long way away from being able to predict earthquakes, this study brings us one step closer towards understanding the physical state of the megathrust fault and the earthquake cycle as a whole," says Audet, now a Miller Research Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley.

"Additional sensors on the Island, or expanding the sensor array into the waters west of Vancouver Island, could help researchers determine whether fault properties change over time, and where changes are most significant along the fault line," says Peacock, UBC Dean of Science and an expert in subduction zone areas, where tectonic plates dive into the Earth's mantle triggering great earthquakes and explosive volcanism.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Trapped Water Cause Of Regular Tremors Under Vancouver Island." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231152301.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2009, January 4). Trapped Water Cause Of Regular Tremors Under Vancouver Island. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231152301.htm
University of British Columbia. "Trapped Water Cause Of Regular Tremors Under Vancouver Island." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231152301.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins