Scientists have given a warning that there might be more earthquakes in 2018, compared to normal. Those warnings should prompt people to prepare in case of this natural disaster. Earthquake prediction technology has been vastly enhanced, including the discovery of fiber optical cables being possible detectors, and gravity signals as indicators. However, there is still no reliable method that will certainly determine where and when an earthquake will happen. Still, a new study predicts more earthquakes next year, and that means that people will need to rely on their knowledge to act in such situations.
More Earthquakes in 2018: Why is it happening?
The new research has been presented by the University of Colorado’s Roger Bilham, together with the University of Montana’s Rebecca Bendick during the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. Their research suggests that there will be an increase in major earthquakes during 2018.
The possibility of having a larger number of earthquakes next year is connected with changes in the speed of the Earth’s rotation, scientists said. The team that conducted the study believes that changes in Earth’s rotational speed could result in massive underground energy being released, leading to more earthquakes.
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The changes in the Earth’s rotational speed are very tiny and affect the length of days by only just one millisecond. Unfortunately, those minuscule changes are enough to start more earthquakes, the study suggests, although the connection between Earth’s rotational speed changes and more Earthquakes is not definitely explained. Still, the scientists believe that the behavior of the Earth’s core plays a role in that connection.
Bilham and Bendick have studied the earthquakes that have occurred since 1900 which had magnitudes of 7 or higher. That led to the discovery that there were five periods in which it occurred that there were more major earthquakes compared to other years. During those years, 25 to 30 major earthquakes occurred, compared to normally about 15 major earthquakes during most years.
Also, scientists discovered that every time the rotation of the Earth slowed down for a period of about five years, a higher number of very intense earthquakes followed thereafter.
“The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes,” Bilham was quoted in a report by The Guardian.
Earth‘s slowdown period started more than four years ago, which leads to the thought that next year might be the period when there will be more earthquakes than usual. Bilham added that there have been only six intense earthquakes in 2017. However, that number is expected to increase next year, possibly up to 20.
Although the times or locations when major earthquakes can strike can’t be precisely determined, scientists said that most of the major earthquakes that were caused by changes in the Earth’s rotation happened near the equator.