Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New study cites lower rate of earthquakes along some subduction zones

Date:
December 7, 2009
Source:
Seismological Society of America
Summary:
As the relative speed of the plates around a fault increases, is there a corresponding increase in the number of earthquakes produced along the fault? According to a new study, the answer depends upon the type of tectonic boundary. On certain types of boundary, the efficiency of earthquake production actually depends on the fault slip rate.

Most earthquakes occur along fault lines, which form boundaries between two tectonic plates. As the relative speed of the plates around a fault increases, is there a corresponding increase in the number of earthquakes produced along the fault? According to this study published in the December issue of BSSA, the answer depends upon the type of tectonic boundary. On certain types of boundary, the efficiency of earthquake production actually depends on the fault slip rate.

Seismic hazard assessments consider many factors, including relative plate velocity. It is important to understand whether there is a linear relationship between relative plate velocity along a fault and the production of earthquakes in order to estimate risk to populations and manmade structures from seismic activity.

Peter Bird, et al., examined whether relative plate velocity is proportional to the number of earthquakes produced along a fault and found that earthquake productivity stays consistent along continental transform faults and continental normal faults, but decreases with increasing spreading rate along ocean spreading ridges.

This study identified a lower efficiency of earthquake production along slower moving subduction zones. The exact reason for a slower rate is not fully understood and is a matter of conjecture, including factors such as water pressure and viscosity of sediments.

The authors suggest that further study is required. "This data should not be misinterpreted to mean that these areas are safe," Bird said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Seismological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bird et al. Linear and Nonlinear Relations between Relative Plate Velocity and Seismicity. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 2009; 99 (6): 3097 DOI: 10.1785/0120090082

Cite This Page:

Seismological Society of America. "New study cites lower rate of earthquakes along some subduction zones." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091204092447.htm>.
Seismological Society of America. (2009, December 7). New study cites lower rate of earthquakes along some subduction zones. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091204092447.htm
Seismological Society of America. "New study cites lower rate of earthquakes along some subduction zones." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091204092447.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) 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