Small gravitational changes in the ground are early warnings of big earthquakes.
Small gravitational changes in the ground are early warnings of big earthquakes.
Being able to predict the severity of an earthquake is crucial to put evacuation programmes into operation and save lives. A new analysis of the Tohoku earthquake in Japan in 2011 revealed that tiny gravitational changes, formed when the ground moves, had been picked up by seismic-monitoring stations in China and South Korea before the seismic waves arrived. These small signals could have served to indicate the severity of the upcoming earthquake and to take adequate evacuation measures. This is especially important for coastal areas, where people can escape to higher territory before a tsunami hits the coast.

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Scientific publication: http://science.sciencemag.org/