Quartz may be behind earthquakes

Worldwide underground quartz deposits may be behind earthquakes, mountain building, and other continental tectonics. According to a study by Utah State University geophysicist Anthony Lowry and Marta Perez-Gussinye of University of London, this is a discovery that may aid in predicting tremblers.

The researchers found that quartz indicates a weakness in the earth’s crust likely to spawn a geologic event such as an earthquake or a volcano by using newly developed remote sensing technology.  They discovered quartz crystal deposits are found wherever  fault lines or mountains occur in states like California, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. Geophysicist Lowry said the breakthrough came after repeated testing revealed a correlation between quartz deposits and geologic events that was “completely eye-popping.” The research also may provide clues to everything from safe sitting of nuclear power plants to the structural demands of large dams.

The finding is to be published in the journal Nature.

Source: Reuters

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern. sachiye@vertices.com

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