This has long been apparent from early catalogs of felt earthquakes and is even more readily discernible in modern seismicity maps, which show instrumentally determined epicentres. It is estimated that 80 percent of the energy presently released in earthquakes comes from those whose epicentres are in this belt. The seismic activity is by no means uniform throughout the belt, and there are a number of branches at various points. The energy released in earthquakes from this belt is about 15 percent of the world total.
The main lesson outline will help you understand the questions in this activity. However, you do not need to have done the other activities. You have just joined a team of geologists assigned to predict or prevent earthquakes.
This is a challenging job!
Read through the following two descriptions to determine which team you are joining. Prepare to write answers to the issues for each team and to discuss your answers with classmates.
Your instructor may assign you one or both teams. You are on a geologic team with the task of predicting earthquakes. Your team has a new prediction method that has never been tested before, but you believe it will predict some earthquakes larger than magnitude 5.
What should you do? How many might be saved? Would it cause major economic problems e. Your team has been developing a method to prevent large earthquakes from occurring. After much research your team has made five important conclusions: An earthquake fault in your local area has built up enough strain to cause a major earthquake of magnitude 6.
You predict that each of these small quakes will be less than 5 on the Richter scale. Now here are the questions you must answer: Is this better or worse than one quake measuring 6.
Who would benefit more from the 25 smaller quakes? Who would be more seriously affected by 25 small quakes? Why or why not? If a major quake does occur, can you be held responsible? If you do not attempt to prevent the larger quake and it actually does occur, can you be held responsible, since you had a method to prevent it?
What different methods have people used in the past and in recent years to predict earthquakes? Describe each method and the people that used it. How successful was each method?
How scientific was the method? Here are some examples to research: Mail comments to outreach cea. For permission, email outreach cea.Earthquake prediction at the present time is not an exact science, and forecasts of earthquake occurrences have not been very accurate. Presently predictions are given in statistical terms.
While long range prediction is concerned with forecasting the occurrence of an earthquake a number of years in advance, medium term prediction is to be done a few months to a year or so and the short term prediction implies forecast ranging from a few hours to some days in advance.
Are earthquake probabilities or forecasts the same as prediction? No. Probabilities and forecasts are rather like climate probabilities and weather forecasts, while predictions are more like statements of when, where, and how large, which is not yet possible for earthquakes.
Earthquake prediction is sometimes distinguished from earthquake forecasting, which can be defined as the probabilistic assessment of general earthquake hazard, including the frequency and magnitude of damaging earthquakes in a given area over years or decades.
Vladimir G. Kossobokov, in Earthquake Hazard, Risk and Disasters, Abstract.
Earthquake prediction is an uncertain profession. Many methods for earthquake forecast/prediction have been proposed and some of these methods may be reliable. Prediction Team: You are on a geologic team with the task of predicting earthquakes.
Your team has a new prediction method that has never been tested before, but you believe it will predict some earthquakes larger than magnitude on the Richter scale.