Terrawatch: Lombok anxious after four major earthquakes | Earthquake
TThe atmosphere is tense on the Indonesian island of Lombok. In the past six weeks, the island has been rocked by four severe earthquakes, killing more than 500 and displacing several hundred thousand people. The question is, are there other major earthquakes to come?
Richard Walters, a geophysicist at Durham University, sees eerie similarities between Lombok and the sequence of the earthquake that devastated central Italy in 2016. More than 300 people died in the Apennine mountains between the 24th. August and October 30, 2016, when the region suffered a series of three earthquakes, each greater than magnitude 6.
By analyzing the timing of earthquakes and the arrangement of faults along this mountain spine, Walters and his colleagues showed that smaller transverse faults acted as barriers, forcing earthquakes to occur in sequence. rather than one massive earthquake. “The small aftershock pattern suggests that each subsequent earthquake is triggered by fluids diffusing through the network of minor faults,” said Walters, the results of which were published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
Lombok has similar transverse faults, which can also control the size of earthquakes in the Indonesian sequence. Given these similarities, investigating the migration of aftershocks could provide valuable clues as to how the streak will progress.