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Indexed under : Earth Sciences

Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Earthquake prediction

In the 1970s, scientists were optimistic that a practical method for predicting earthquakes would soon be found, but by the 1990s continuing failure led many to question whether it was even possible. Demonstrably successful predictions of large earthquakes have not occurred and the few claims of success are controversial.“

Source :Wikipedia

To date, there is no agreement on whether the prediction of earthquakes is even theoretically possible.

Arguments against include the theory that the Earth's geology is in a sate of Self-Organized Criticalityplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigSelf-Organized Criticality

The term Self-Organized Criticality (SOC) was introduced in a 1987 paper for Physical Review Letters. The groundbreaking research by Per Bak, Chao Tang and Kurt Wiesenfeld (now known as 'BTW') described how complex systems can feature 'critic…
(a branch of chaos theory). If so, it can be proven that predictions are mathematically impossible.

Note: There are many anecdotal reports about various animals (domestic, wild and farmed) behaving unusually shortly before major earthquakes. There have been few scientific studies of the subject (e.g. see Retrospective studies of unusual animal behavior as an earthquake predictor) Geophysical Research Letters, Volume8, Issue12.

If some animals are somehow sensitive to impending earthquakes, the mechanism is unknown.

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