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SCI/TECH: Predicting Earthquakes from Space

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posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 05:32 AM
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Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA have created a tool to aid in the prediction of earthquakes. QuakeSim, as it is called, uses the Global Positioning System and InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) to track movements in the Earth's crust, thereby identifying areas of increased activity which may be precursors of earthquakes.
 



www.popularmechanics.com
Just how far can the merger of space technology and supercomputer technology go in predicting earthquakes? QuakeSim scientists provided a preview in 2000 when they tried to identify parts of California with a likelihood of experiencing a magnitude 5 or greater earthquake by 2010. Since the results were published, five such quakes have occurred within 7 miles of the predicted high-risk zones. A JPL spokesman says the probability of forecasting with such accuracy by merely guessing is 1 in 100,000.



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Perhaps tragedies like the tsunami in Indonesia, caused by a major earthquake, will not be so devastating once systems like this are in place and fully operational. Its too bad this system wasn't already in place on Dec. 26, 2004.



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