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Researchers discover how tides trigger earthquakes

“Everyone was sort of stumped, because according to conventional theory, those earthquakes should occur at high tides,” explained and co-lead of the study In a study published in the Journal of Communications, researchers have uncovered the mechanism for this seeming paradox, and it comes down to the magma below the mid-ocean ridges. So, scientists expected that at high tides, when there is more water sitting on top of the fault, it would push the upper block down and cause the earthquakes. In the end, it came down to a component that no one else had considered before, the volcano’s magma chamber, a soft, pressurized pocket below the surface. The team realised that when the tide is low, there is less water sitting on top of the chamber, so it expands. As it puffs up, it strains the rocks around it, forcing the lower block to slide up the fault, and causing earthquakes in the process.

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