microquake


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microquake

(geophysics)
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Nadeau and McEvilly discovered that many spots along the San Andreas produce characteristic microquakes months to years apart.
The microquakes, however, provide a direct look at the kinds of changes going on deep underground.
Also, the microquakes were sensed only beneath Long Beach.
While microquakes aren't themselves damaging to buildings or infrastructure, detecting them can provide valuable clues towards predicting larger, more threatening earthquakes.
Seismologists already know that hydraulic fracturing -- which involves blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations to free oil and gas -- can cause microquakes that are rarely strong enough to register on monitoring equipment.
Southern Methodist University researchers have recorded more than 300 quakes around Azle since early December, with some days experiencing swarms of hundreds of microquakes and other days none.
Thousands of microquakes detected in the crust revealed a zigzag fault pattern roughly paralleling the course of the Mississippi River at the junction of Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
Nadeau used this method to predict time windows for microquakes in 13 spots around Parkfield.
At that same time, similar bursts of perceptible jolts and microquakes started at a dozen other sites in the western United States, including Mt.
Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, Calif., who are trying to make sense of the far-flung microquakes. Reasenberg says that before June 28, he wouldn't have believed it possible for a quake in southern California to trigger jolts at the other end of the state, let alone several states distant.
The phenomenon of distantly triggered quakes went unnoticed until now because large earthquakes had not occurred within a network of sensitive seismometers capable of detecting the microquakes.