A recent earthquake in the U,S., has scientists scrambling to understand what caused it and how to prepare for future events.
A new database of quake and tsunami events compiled by the U of S Geological Survey is expected to be released in late September.
The U.N. has designated 2016 the most powerful earthquake in history, but scientists and researchers have not been able to get a handle on the magnitude and frequency of recent quakes.
That’s because the UGS earthquake database contains only seismic activity for three months of the year.
The earthquake dataset, however, provides detailed information about the locations, intensity, and cause of the earthquakes.
The quake database, the first of its kind, covers three months in November and December of 2016.
The database covers more than 2.4 million earthquakes from November 2015 through December 2016, which researchers said was “the largest earthquake database ever compiled.”
A team of researchers at the UMS Geophysical Institute, University of Utah, and the UBS Group in Zurich used the UFS data to create a global database of earthquakes for the first time, which has the potential to provide a better understanding of quakes and tsunami hazard.
The scientists found a “large” earthquake in eastern South America, a “moderate” quake in the northern hemisphere, and a “small” quake at the northern end of South America.
The earthquake activity in the database was also much more localized than previous studies, which have generally focused on large earthquakes in regions where the UWS is located.
In the new database, researchers found a large earthquake in South America in November 2016, followed by a moderate earthquake in November 2020, a medium earthquake in December 2020, and an earthquake in March 2021.
The next three months were also significantly less intense than previous years.
This means the UDS quake database provides a better picture of the global earthquake hazard.
“It’s very interesting, because it’s so different from the seismic record,” said lead researcher Richard Fuhrman, the director of the UTS Geophysical Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.
“I think there’s going to be a lot more information coming out of the new data.”
While scientists do not yet know how the new earthquake database will be used to prepare, they are encouraged by the team’s success.
“I think we’re really excited about the results,” said John DeFilippo, a UTS geophysicist.
“This is going to help us make better predictions and more accurate models for future quakes.”
Researchers say the new dataset will also help scientists understand how earthquakes interact with ocean and atmospheric systems and how those interactions affect the earth’s surface.
“These earthquakes will provide a very important piece of the puzzle,” said Michael Oster, a seismologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“The results suggest that the magnitude of the earthquake that caused this tsunami in Indonesia has been much more significant than previously estimated,” said co-author Richard Fuehrer.
“The tsunami is now considered a more significant event than previous tsunamis.”
The researchers noted that other research shows that earthquakes in Asia, for example, can trigger tsunamias that last a few days.
In their report, the scientists described the new information as an important step toward better understanding the quakes in the Pacific and the Caribbean.
“If we can better understand the magnitude, the location, and its timing, we can use that information to prepare more effective earthquake prediction,” said Fuhrer.