Study finds hot zones for strong earthquakes

12/5/2012 | Our Amazing Planet

Around 87% of the 15 strongest earthquakes in the past 100 years happened in the Earth's crust at certain "hotspot" points, according to a study in the journal Solid Earth. Scientists identified the hotspots in the junction between some sections on extending ocean plates, known as the oceanic fracture zones, as well as subduction zones, an area where a tectonic plate moves underneath another. "The power of our new method is that it does pick up many of these regions and, hence, could contribute to much-needed improvements of long-term seismic hazard maps," said study author Dietmar Müller, a professor of geophysics at the University of Sydney.

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