How to Predict an Earthquake with a Doughnut
Many scientists believe that predicting earthquakes is still impossible, but the Mogi Doughnut seems more credible than the Quake Quack's theory. Colorful charts do not a seismologist make.
According to the Mogi Doughnut concept, created by the Japanese seismologist it's named after, smaller quakes over decades can increase pressure on faults in the doughnut hole center, which may lead to the Big One. Can the recent uptick in shaking in Southern California be part of a delicious pastry prediction?
Find out after the jump...
According to the LA Times, UC Davis physicist and geologist John Rundle thinks the recent activity-- the quakes in Borrego Springs, Baja Mexico, and Eureka-- are forming a circular pattern with a spot of unusual calm in the SoCal middle.
Tracing the passage of pressure from one fault system to another is a relatively new approach to seismology, but the method has recently proved successful in predicting quakes. Seismologists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory suspected that the 7.2 Easter quake in Mexicali had increased pressure on a section of the San Jacinto fault system, and predicted an earthquake there. Three months later, Blamo! the San Jacinto fault under Borrego Springs was shaking.
If the a Mogi doughnut is really surrounding Southern California, it means our larger fault systems, the San Andreas, Elsinore and San Jacinto, which need more pressure to blow, have been gaining it in doses from each of these smaller, surrounding quakes. And the big one could be just one pressurized payload away.
Or, this could just be another quake quack theory. With sprinkles on top.