December 06, 2012 – EARTHQUAKES – The strongest earthquakes that strike the planet, such as the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan last year, occur at particular “hotspot” points of Earth’s crust, a new study finds. About 87 percent of the 15 largest earthquakes in the last century occurred in the intersection between specific areas on spreading ocean plates, called oceanic fracture zones, and subduction zones, where one tectonic plate slides underneath another, according to the paper, published recently in the journal Solid Earth. The scientists used a data mining method to find correlations between locations of earthquakes over the last 100 years, the strength and geological origin.
|More than 100 years of earthquakes glow on a world map. © John Nelson, IDV Solutions.|