The irony comes from the fact that two French researchers, who post July 20 in the American Journal science, retrospectively analyzed data from GPS satellites, at 5-minute intervals, during the 48 hours prior to 90 major earthquakes over the past 20 years. They found that where the data was more accurate, a slight shift of tectonic plates could indeed be detected: on average, 2 hours Before the earthquake was detected by seismographs. At the moment, alerts are measured in minutes at most.
History also teaches caution, as seismologist Roland Burgmann recalls comment Accompanying the article: The past has been marked, since the 1970s, by numerous attempts to detect “preliminary signs” of earthquakes. The problem has always been that these warning signs are rarely clearly distinguishable from normal seismic “background noise”.
What Quentin Pelletre and Jean-Mathieu Noquet of the University of Côte d’Azur in Nice suggest – analyzing the ‘slipping’ of tectonic plates – could turn out to be a different ‘signal’ than the others. But if at the same time it turns out that the required level of accuracy is very high, then the technology of such discoveries is not yet within our reach …
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