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Distinguishing Earthquake Foreshocks and Aftershocks in Real Time

Up to now, there was no way of predicting whether a powerful earthquake was likely to be followed by one of even greater magnitude. But the results of a study recently published in Nature by Laura Gulia and Stefan Wiemer from the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich awaken hopes that we will soon be able to do just that, in real time.

Such a  would have far-reaching consequences for civil protection, enabling more reliable decisions about evacuating people, allowing  to target their efforts accordingly, and permitting the implementation of measures to secure critical infrastructure, such as power stations.

Whereas most  are not preceded by foreshocks, they are always followed by thousands of aftershocks, whose frequency and  fade over time. However, in some cases, a major  is followed by an even more powerful one. This was what happened in the sequences of earthquakes that hit Central Italy in 2016 or Ridgecrest, California (U.S.) in July 2019.

Read more at Phys.org

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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