Feb 16, 2023

Slow motion: Scientists investigate tectonic plate boundary earthquake behavior

Posted by in category: futurism

Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci demonstrated frictional forces slow down the motion of surfaces in contact. Friction, he determined, is proportional to normal force. When two objects are pressed together twice as hard, friction doubles.

“We see this principle with tectonic plate boundaries,” says Utah State University geophysicist Srisharan Shreedharan. “As surfaces slide against each other, we observe frictional properties, including frictional healing that describes the degree of fault restrengthening between earthquakes. However, we know little about how this phenomenon may affect future slip events, including earthquakes.”

He and colleagues Demian Saffer and Laura Wallace of the University of Texas at Austin, where Shreedharan was previously employed as a postdoctoral fellow, and Charles Williams of New Zealand’s GNS Science geoscience research institute, publish findings about ultralow frictional healing and slow slip events along the Hikurangi in the Feb. 17, 2023, issue of the journal Science.

Comments are closed.