Do tsunamis affect earthquakes?

02 November 2008

Question

Is there any correlation to earthquakes on the west coast of the US with the tsunami activity in the pacific?

Answer

Chris - There's some suggestion that if you have big, seismic events in one place that you can encourage faults to be triggered in other places. On a global scale the answer is probably not because there are thousands of earthquakes happening around the world all the time. By the time the energy reaches an individual fault the chances are it's probably largely diffused so it's not sufficiently intense to trigger anything. Dave - I think it's possible for one earth quake to trigger another earthquake which probably would have happened in the next year anyway. as one piece of rock is pulled across another at some point is is just about to slip, at this point quite a small vibration can make it slip.Chris - Presumably it's geographically quite close.

Dave - Yeah the closer you are the more likely it's going to happen. I think there's evidence it can happen the other side of the world but only on earthquakes which would have happened very soon anyway.

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