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.

USGI Military Style All Weather Poncho Liner / Woobie Blanket in Woodland Camo picture

USGI Military Style All Weather Poncho Liner / Woobie Blanket in Woodland Camo

$39.95



US GI Arctic Military Mittens Air Force COLD WEATHER Flyers Gloves N-4B LARGE picture

US GI Arctic Military Mittens Air Force COLD WEATHER Flyers Gloves N-4B LARGE

$46.75



US Military Woodland Ripstop Wet Weather Raincoat Poncho Camping Hiking Camo picture

US Military Woodland Ripstop Wet Weather Raincoat Poncho Camping Hiking Camo

$30.36



ROTHCO Cold Weather Coat Liner Size Medium UltraForce M65 Jacket Style Liner NWT picture

ROTHCO Cold Weather Coat Liner Size Medium UltraForce M65 Jacket Style Liner NWT

$27.99



2023 Wild Weather Full Size Wall Calendar picture

2023 Wild Weather Full Size Wall Calendar

$9.95



US MILITARY SURPLUS EXTREME COLD WEATHER FACE MASK w/ FILTERS  picture

US MILITARY SURPLUS EXTREME COLD WEATHER FACE MASK w/ FILTERS

$7.90



US Military Issue Black Polartec 100 Micro Fleece Cold Weather Beanie Watch Cap picture

US Military Issue Black Polartec 100 Micro Fleece Cold Weather Beanie Watch Cap

$14.99



USGI OCP Army Jungle IHWCU Hot Weather Combat Uniform Pants XLarge Short picture

USGI OCP Army Jungle IHWCU Hot Weather Combat Uniform Pants XLarge Short

$64.99



Vintage Navy Facemask Extreme Cold Weather USN Olive Green 207 NOS Riddler Mask picture

Vintage Navy Facemask Extreme Cold Weather USN Olive Green 207 NOS Riddler Mask

$29.95



Aluminum Weather-proof Mezuzah Covers (3.5 inches (for 7cm scroll), silver) picture

Aluminum Weather-proof Mezuzah Covers (3.5 inches (for 7cm scroll), silver)

$4.99



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes