Thursday, March 13, 2008

How do Scientists Predict Earthquakes?

There are many clues volcanologists, people that study volcanoes, use to predict volcanic eruptions. Although, they cannot predict the size or nature of the eruption. It is kind of like a weather forecast, they can predict the general area and time but not exactly how intense or how large things will be. Using new technology or reviewing past eruptions scientists can find clues to help predict volcanic eruptions.
Advanced technology has helped volcanologists predict eruptions. One thing is using tiltmeters and other surveying instruments. Tiltmeters record the incline of a volcano. If the incline changes it is a clue that it might erupt. Also, with other instruments the can monitor ground deformation. With them they can create a 3-D map of what’s happening underground. It can measure how deep magma is, how fast it’s moving, and where on a volcano might it erupt. Although there is a risk because scientists have to climb in the volcano to take the measurements. They are testing, however, a new system where it is flown on an aircraft and it sends information about the ground movements. One other clue can be found using a satellite. It helps monitor gas concentrations in the atmosphere over a volcano. Changes in these gases can mean an eruption could happen soon. These are a few clues out of many that help volcanologists predict eruptions.
Other than using technology we can study past volcanic eruptions. Some clues like old lava flows, pyroclastic deposits, and debris can reveal much about the timing, type, and magnitude of eruptions. By looking at past we can learn more about volcanoes and that could greatly help predict eruptions. Finally another clue is if there are underlying earthquakes under the volcano. Scientists register the magnitude, escalation, and epicenters of earthquakes. The more seismograms they get the more they know about the volcano. They can transmit data to another computer far away from the volcano. There are many clues that could be a sign that a volcano might erupt.
Although scientists can’t exactly predict volcanoes they can be pretty close. Many clues help them greatly. Such as gas emissions, ground deformation, previous eruptions, and earthquakes under the volcanoes. Technology has also aided scientist in predicting earthquakes. Eventually, I think volcanologists will be able to predict eruptions almost perfectly.



Anonymous said...

Great information, it answered the question really well, and you didn't stick to just one way of predicting them.


Anonymous said...

Great writing style, tons of information, and put a lot of thought in anwering teh question.

Anonymous said...

very well written you described evrything very well


Anonymous said...

nice work that was a tough question i liked you conclusion paragraph you did a good job summing it up!kg2

Anonymous said...

Great information. I didn't know they could tell where magma was by measuring ground deformation

Anonymous said...

great work!
tons of useful info.


Anonymous said...

You explained your information very well. I learned a lot from it. From your #1 fan.


student08 said...

good job (ml3)

Anonymous said...

wow nice job. You had the same question as me but you got way more info! np4