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Look at the Tiny Earthquakes Scientists Make to Predict Real Ones

Illustration for article titled Look at the Tiny Earthquakes Scientists Make to Predict Real Ones

This photo, captured through a polarizing filter, shows the buildup of stress along a modeled fault line at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where a team of scientists is trying to figure out how to forecast earthquakes.

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The artificial fracture was created by sliding two semi-rigid plastic plates against each other, with a layer of small nylon cylinders between them. Take a closer look at the experimental setup:

Illustration for article titled Look at the Tiny Earthquakes Scientists Make to Predict Real Ones
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By simulating the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates, scientists represent the structure and dynamics of geological faults and demonstrate a mechanism by which earthquakes can influence the triggering of other earthquakes. Here is a brief explanation of the experiments:

[Los Alamos National Laboratory]

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DISCUSSION

It’s easy to predict an earthquake. First find a political scandal and there will be some natural disaster to bury the story.