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Title: Earthquake Simulator Finds Tremor Triggers

Using a novel device that simulates earthquakes in a laboratory setting, a Los Alamos researcher has found that seismic waves-the sounds radiated from earthquakes-can induce earthquake aftershocks, often long after a quake has subsided. The research provides insight into how earthquakes may be triggered and how they recur. Los Alamos researcher Paul Johnson and colleague Chris Marone at Penn State have discovered how wave energy can be stored in certain types of granular materials-like the type found along certain fault lines across the globe-and how this stored energy can suddenly be released as an earthquake when hit by relatively small seismic waves far beyond the traditional “aftershock zone” of a main quake. Perhaps most surprising, researchers have found that the release of energy can occur minutes, hours, or even days after the sound waves pass; the cause of the delay remains a tantalizing mystery.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1185262
Resource Type:
Other
Research Org:
LANL (Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES SEISMIC WAVE; SEISMIC; EARTHQUAKE; TREMOR; SHEARING DEVICE; TRIGGER EFFECT