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GPS information to identify indicators of mega-earthquakes, before they occur

The researchers from the University of Oregon in the US combed through databases of earthquakes since the early 1990s have discovered a possible defining moment 10-15 seconds into an event that could signal a magnitude seven or larger quake. Likewise, that moment — gleaned from GPS data on the peak rate of acceleration of ground displacement — can indicate a smaller event. GPS picks up an initial signal of movement along a fault similar to a seismometer detecting the smallest first moments of an earthquake. The physics-heavy analyses of two databases detected a point in time where a newly initiated earthquake transitions into a slip pulse where mechanical properties point to magnitude. Having these capabilities on the seafloor and monitoring data in real time, he said, could strengthen the accuracy of early warning systems.

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