The threat of silent earthquakes

Scientific American



Not all earthquakes shake the ground. The so-called silent types are forcing scientists to rethink their understanding of the way quake-prone faults behave. In rare instances, silent earthquakes that occur along the flakes of seaside volcanoes may cascade into monstrous landslides that crash into the sea and trigger towering tsunamis. Silent earthquakes that take place within fault zones created by one tectonic plate diving under another may increase the chance of ground-shaking shocks. In other locations, however, silent slip may decrease the likelihood of destructive quakes, because they release stress along faults that might otherwise seem ready to snap.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The threat of silent earthquakes
Series title Scientific American
DOI 10.1038/scientificamerican0304-86
Volume 290
Issue 3
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher Springer Nature
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 6 p.
First page 86
Last page 91
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