Scientists claim the number of harsh earthquakes possibly will increase in 2018 because of the Earth’s decreased rotation. The rotation’s speed deviation could hence generate several seismic activities, especially in the tropical areas.
The changes in the Earth’s rotation might seem insignificant; however, prolonging the length of the day even by one millisecond could be the reason for the major release of power under beneath the surface.
The relation between the Earth’s rotation and the seismic activity was studied in a research by Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana at Missoula.
“The relationship between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of violent earthquakes next year,” said Bilham in his interview.
The research processed some major earthquakes of magnitude 7 and greater that had happened since 1900.
Bilham explained how these kinds of earthquakes serve as good information to further exploration.
The two scientists unrevealed five periods when there was an extremely higher number of massive earthquakes in comparison with other periods.
“During these periods, there were between 25 and 30 intense earthquakes a year,” said Bilham.
“The rest of the time, the average number was about 15 large earthquakes per year,” he added.
Following these discoveries, the researchers were eager to find the connection with these periods of massive seismic activity. They found that when the Earth’s rotation slowed down, it resulted in periods of a larger number of acute earthquakes.
“The rotation of the Earth changes slightly – in a millisecond per day sometimes – and that can be measured very accurately by atomic clocks.”
The researchers found out that the Earth’s rotation was decreased by a certain amount over the last century and a half.
Basically, these time lapses resulted in periods where the earthquakes have massively escalated.
“It’s simple,” says Bilham. “The Earth is offering us a five-year warning about future earthquakes.”
“Next year we should see a significant increase in the number of severe earthquakes. We have had it easy this year. So far, we have only had about six severe earthquakes. We could easily have 20 per year starting in 2018.”
It is still not evident how the length of the day is correlated with the earthquakes; however, scientists assume that small diversity in the Earth’s core could be causing both results.
The earthquakes, unfortunately, are difficult to be foreseen, but Bilham believes that most of the intense earthquakes to react to changes in day length are near the equator.