Earth's temperature linked to earthquakes

Feb 06, 2008

Spanish scientists have linked the temperature of the Earth's crust to the planet's seismic activity.

The researchers from the University of Granada and the Andalusian Institute for Earth Sciences also determined African and European tectonic plates move about 4 millimeters closer each year, creating small, continuous earthquakes in the Gibraltar Arc area -- a region of mountains that wraps around the northern, western and southern sides of the Alboran Sea.

The scientists said their findings characterize the physical and mechanical properties of the Earth's crust in the area, as well as determining the probability of earthquakes is significantly lower in areas of higher crust temperature.

The researchers also discovered the western area of the Sierra Nevada and Alhucemas -- all located within the Gibraltar Arc -- is the area in which most earthquakes occur due to low temperatures in the Earth's crust, while Spain and the eastern area of the Alboran Sea will most likely experience fewer seismic movements.

The research by Fermin Fernandez Ibanez, Juan Ignacio Soto Hermoso and Jose Molares Soto is reported in both the Journal of Geophysical Research and the journal Tectonics.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Microscopic organism plays a big role in ocean carbon cycling

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Experts: Chile's M8.2 quake not 'the big one'

Apr 02, 2014

Authorities in northern Chile discovered surprisingly light damage and just six reported deaths Wednesday from a magnitude-8.2 quake—a remarkably low toll for such a powerful shift in the Earth's crust.

Recommended for you

How productive are the ore factories in the deep sea?

4 hours ago

About ten years after the first moon landing, scientists on earth made a discovery that proved that our home planet still holds a lot of surprises in store for us. Looking through the portholes of the submersible ...

NASA image: Volcanoes in Guatemala

9 hours ago

This photo of volcanoes in Guatemala was taken from NASA's C-20A aircraft during a four-week Earth science radar imaging mission deployment over Central and South America. The conical volcano in the center ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

out7x
1 / 5 (1) Feb 07, 2008
Higher temp, higher thermal expansion, higher stress, ..... anything new here?

More news stories

Study links California drought to global warming

While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it is not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought ...

Untangling Brazil's controversial new forest code

Approved in 2012, Brazil's new Forest Code has few admirers. Agricultural interests argue that it threatens the livelihoods of farmers. Environmentalists counter that it imperils millions of hectares of forest, ...

Autism Genome Project delivers genetic discovery

A new study from investigators with the Autism Genome Project, the world's largest research project on identifying genes associated with risk for autism, has found that the comprehensive use of copy number variant (CNV) genetic ...

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.