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Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Earthquakes Triggering Earthquakes

Los Alamos simulations and experiments analyze how quakes can weaken the earth’s crust, setting the stage for future quakes
April 1, 2014
Earthquakes Triggering Earthquakes

Earthquake in a lab: Viewed through a polarized camera lens, stress buildup can be seen as the far (upper) “tectonic” plate slides laterally along the modeled fault line.

Figuring out how to do what no one can do: forecast an earthquake

Since the turn of the century there have been about 15 really large earthquakes. Are they all related? Despite the fact that these quakes were widely separated, spanning much of the globe, geophysicist Paul Johnson and his colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory believe they are. They developed simulations and physical experiments to represent the structure and dynamics of geological faults and, in so doing, demonstrated a mechanism by which earthquakes can influence the triggering of other earthquakes.

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