Research: Earthquakes Can Trigger Copycats Around the World
If you’re in an earthquake-prone area, it may not be enough to know what’s happening in your region – seismic activity halfway around the world could have huge impacts near you.
Researchers at Oregon State University examined 44 years of seismic data and came to the conclusion that tremblors of magnitude 6.5 or higher can trigger other quakes. The analysis is the first discernible evidence that in the three days following one large quake, other earthquakes are more likely.
The higher the magnitude of the initial earthquake, the more likely it is to trigger another quake – and higher magnitude earthquakes have been occurring more frequently in recent years. This secondary quake is most likely to be triggered within 30 degrees of the original’s antipode, aka, the point directly opposite it on the other side of the world.
These findings have several potential benefits. First, it can help more accurate and timely predictions of future earthquakes. It can also help assess risk, by looking at earthquake prone regions and seeing if you have vulnerabilities on the other half of the globe.