Tropical storms may be triggering earthquakes

University of Miami scientist Shimon Wdowinski (pictured) says that earthquakes – including the recent seismic events in Haiti and Taiwan – may be triggered by severe tropical storms (cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons). Wdowinski is presenting his, er, groundbreaking study at the 2011 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, in San Francisco.

“Very wet rain events are the trigger,” explained Wdowinski, an associate research professor of marine geology and geophysics. “The heavy rain induces thousands of landslides and severe erosion, which removes ground material from the Earth’s surface, releasing the stress load and encouraging movement along faults.” He adds that this earthquake-triggering mechanism is only viable on inclined faults, where the rupture by these faults has a significant vertical movement.

Wdowinski says an analysis of data from the quakes in Taiwan and Haiti showed a strong temporal relationship between the two natural hazards – large earthquakes occurred following a very wet tropical cyclone season.

He points out that over the last 50 years, three very wet tropical cyclone events – Typhoons Morakot, Herb and Flossie – were followed within four years by major earthquakes in Taiwan’s mountainous regions. He adds that the 2010 magnitude 7 earthquake in Haiti occurred one-and-a-half years after two hurricanes and two tropical storms drenched the island nation over a three week period.

Although only several quake locations have been investigated, Wdowinski claims that the tropical cyclone-earthquake pattern exists in other magnitude 5 and above earthquakes. He now plans to analyze patterns in other seismically active mountainous regions – such as the Philippines and Japan.

Related:
Discuss this article in our forum
Earthquakes and animal behavior: it’s in the water
Earthquakes Still Threaten The Central United States
San Andreas Fault weakened by Sumatran quake
Warming Oceans Behind Stronger Hurricanes?

Source: University of Miami

, ,

Comments are closed.
Natural black lava volcanic stone bracelet light green weathered agate stone
$0.99 Natural black lava volcanic stone bracelet light green weathered agate stone picture
RPPC LADY STANDING NEAR WEATHER VAIN IN COUNTRY REAL AZO PHOTO 1920'S POSTCARD
$7.95 RPPC LADY STANDING NEAR WEATHER VAIN IN COUNTRY REAL AZO PHOTO 1920'S POSTCARD picture
VINTAGE 1909 POROSKNIT HEALTHFUL WARM WEATHER UNDERWEAR FATHER SON AD PRINT
$9.5 VINTAGE 1909 POROSKNIT HEALTHFUL WARM WEATHER UNDERWEAR FATHER SON AD PRINT picture
1992 MJ Hummel “ Stormy Weather “
$9.99 1992  MJ Hummel “ Stormy Weather “ picture
4SGM TSN1383 Budweiser 1936 Weathered
$39.33 4SGM TSN1383 Budweiser 1936 Weathered picture

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes