Thursday, October 26, 2006

Full moon blamed for tsunami

The full moon has now been blamed for the December 26 2004 earthquake that triggered the deadly tsunami. Scientists say they now have the data to show that new and full moons and even heavy rain could trigger quakes. Crikey! From New Scientist:
Between October 2004 and August 2005 Robin Crockett from the University of Northampton, UK, and his colleagues monitored tremors and collected tidal data along the Java/Sumatra trench. They found that major quakes were 86 per cent more likely around new and full moons, when tides are at their greatest.

"At new and full moons the biggest mass of water is being loaded and unloaded at the plate boundary," Crockett says. That might be the final push that initiates a quake.

Meanwhile Sebastian Hainzl from the University of Potsdam, Germany, and his colleagues have noticed that rain can also trigger quakes.

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