Study links plankton blooms to earthquakes

May 9, 2006

A team of U.S. and Indian scientists says it has found a link between concentrations of chlorophyll in coastal waters and the occurrence of earthquakes.

The increases in chlorophyll are the result of blooms of plankton, which use chlorophyll to convert solar energy into chemical energy via photosynthesis, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The scientists analyzed satellite data from coastal areas near the epicenters of four recent earthquakes and determined chlorophyll blooms might provide early warning concerning an impending earthquake.

The researchers theorize the movement of plate tectonics creates conditions in which plankton thrive in proximity to an impending earthquake, the BBC said.

The research is detailed in the journal Advances in Space Research.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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