Every element in nature has its own place in a precise, well-organized system. There is an interesting connection between the Moon, high tides and earthquakes, as our natural satellite causes these phenomena.
Researchers state that there is more than one reason behind complex phenomena such as earthquakes. They are still trying to figure out these elements, and this is why sometimes it is hard for them to predict when an earthquake will take place. However, recent findings point out that the Moon doesn’t only cause earthquakes, but it also makes them stronger.
A team of Japanese scientists announced their discoveries on September 12. They explain the relation between Earth’s natural satellite and quakes through high tides. The attraction between the Moon and our planet causes high tides to appear. The gravitational forces attract Earth’s water in seas and oceans to the point that their level increases on shores.
High tides are visible on both types of shores, namely beaches and cliffs. However, they are much more impressive on cliffs.
So tides are the phenomenon of seas and oceans’ waters moving back and forth due to the movements of the moon. What the Japanese scientists discovered is that not only waters are affected by this type of movement. According to their study, the land is affected by the Moon’s moves too. It seems like land moves approximately one foot a day because of this relation. The process of land moving in a similar way to the oceans’ water is called “land tide.”
The highest tides occur during a full moon or new moon. Specialists state that strong earthquakes are most likely to happen in this precise periods. They also have evidence of that, as significant quakes have occurred during full or new moon. Japan was hit by a powerful earthquake five years ago, in 2011, and the phenomenon was connected to high tides.
The Japanese researchers reached this conclusion after analyzing Earth’s strongest quakes. All of them were more than magnitude-5. Taking into account tidal stress too, earthquakes turned into “megaquakes,” which are quakes larger than magnitude-8.
However, researchers suggest that tides are not equally influential when it comes to small quakes. They also say that earthquakes happen on a daily basis, but they are small, so most people don’t even acknowledge them.
Scientists intend to enlarge upon their studies and be able to understand the entire mechanism of earthquakes.
The results of the Japanese team were published in Nature Geoscience.
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