WASHINGTON – Geophysicists who studied seismic activity over the past 117 years report 2018 could be shaping up as a year of monster earthquakes – especially around the equator.
The signal that causes the alarm from a historical pattern, they say, is the slowing of the Earth’s rotation.
The new study, presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, in Seattle, is published in Geophysical Research Letters by geologists Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana.
It tracked the incidence of magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes worldwide since 1900, revealing through recent history, such major quakes occur about 15 times per year. Yet, over the last 117 years, there have been evenly spaced intervals in which the annual total jumped to between 25 and 30.
“Major earthquakes have been well recorded for more than