Earthquakes: Beyond Prediction

music
ambience: time-lapse earthquake recording

A satellite-based radar system can be used to study and even help predict earthquakes. But this technology could also be useful even after a quake has occurred. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Carol Raymond is a physicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

“Data from an earthquake observational system could be used in several ways to quickly assess the damage that has occurred and, therefore, to better mobilize resources to respond to the disaster. Everything from the emergency supplies, to estimating the amount of money that’s going to be needed to respond to the disaster. These are things that have to be done very rapidly, and such data can be used effectively to help make a better assessment.”

Earthquakes typically occur along fault lines, at or near the boundaries of the Earth’s plates – the huge pieces of the Earth’s crust which make up the outer layer of our planet like an enormous jigsaw. We’re listening to a time-lapse recording of an earthquake. The satellite-based radar system could also help predict further damage, once a quake has occurred.

“Following a large earthquake, there is a higher probability that other faults will break. We understand that fault systems interact, and any time there’s a large event, there’s concern that other faults may break in a cascading way. So, it will be important to rapidly reassess what the state of stress on the neighboring faults is, and therefore, whether there’s a higher risk that one of them may break as well.”

We’ll hear more on earthquake prediction in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Earthquakes: Beyond Prediction

Using satellite-based radar technology could help predict the danger from aftershocks following an earthquake.
Air Date:05/05/2011
Scientist:
Transcript:

music
ambience: time-lapse earthquake recording

A satellite-based radar system can be used to study and even help predict earthquakes. But this technology could also be useful even after a quake has occurred. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Carol Raymond is a physicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

"Data from an earthquake observational system could be used in several ways to quickly assess the damage that has occurred and, therefore, to better mobilize resources to respond to the disaster. Everything from the emergency supplies, to estimating the amount of money that's going to be needed to respond to the disaster. These are things that have to be done very rapidly, and such data can be used effectively to help make a better assessment."

Earthquakes typically occur along fault lines, at or near the boundaries of the Earth's plates - the huge pieces of the Earth's crust which make up the outer layer of our planet like an enormous jigsaw. We're listening to a time-lapse recording of an earthquake. The satellite-based radar system could also help predict further damage, once a quake has occurred.

"Following a large earthquake, there is a higher probability that other faults will break. We understand that fault systems interact, and any time there's a large event, there's concern that other faults may break in a cascading way. So, it will be important to rapidly reassess what the state of stress on the neighboring faults is, and therefore, whether there's a higher risk that one of them may break as well."

We'll hear more on earthquake prediction in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music