A team of geoscientists at the University of South Florida has successfully developed an advanced technology to predict potential earthquakes. The newly developed high-tech shallow water buoy is capable of detecting small movements and changes on the earth's seafloor. It should be noted that movements on the earth's seafloor are widely considered a precursor of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and subsequent tsunamis.
Predicting earthquakes in future
Scientists who took part in this research developed this shallow water buoy using an $822,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Ocean Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination program. Last year, researchers installed this buoy off Egmont Key in the Gulf of Mexico and studied data on the three-dimensional motion of the seafloor. Researchers believe that this system will help to detect even the smallest stress and strains on the earth's surface.
The study report published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth revealed that the buoy will help to capture the crucial side-to-side motion of the Earth that can be used to predict tsunami producing earthquakes. Professor Tim Dixon who led the study also added this development has several applications in the offshore industry.
"The technology has several potential applications in the offshore oil and gas industry and volcano monitoring in some places, but the big one is for improved forecasting of earthquakes and tsunamis in subduction zones. The giant earthquakes and tsunamis in Sumatra in 2004 and in Japan in 2011 are examples of the kind of events we'd like to better understand and forecast in the future," said Dixon in a recent statement.
Researchers believe that this new technology could also help to monitor the possibilities of potential seismic activities in the Ring of Fire which is poorly monitored, but an area that is prone to megaquakes.
Ring of Fire ripe for a megaquake?
A few months back, Thomas Rockwell, an eminent scientist had suggested that the Ring of Fire is ripe for a major earthquake. As per Rockwell, it has been 380 years since the last major quake happened in the area, and it indicates that a major quake is overdue in the San Andreas fault.
In the meantime, self-proclaimed seismic researcher Frank Hoogerbeets argues that the rise in seismic activities is due to critical planetary alignments and lunar geometry. As per Hoogerbeets, planetary alignments used to send electromagnetic waves to the earth, and it is destabilizing tectonic plates, finally resulting in earthquakes.