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Why might predicting earthquakes be a near impossible goal?

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Introduction

´╗┐Why might trying to predict earthquakes be a near-impossible goal? Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault. These sudden releases of energy causes there to be seismic waves, which make the ground, shake. When two blocks of rock or two plates are rubbing against each other, they stick a little, and do not pass smoothly as the rocks usually catch on to each other. The rocks are still pushing against each other, but not moving. After a while, the rocks break because of all the pressure that's built up. When the rocks break, the earthquake occurs. Nowadays, earthquakes are killing more and more people than have ever done before, partly due to the increase in population density in most cities. Last year alone, one million people were killed by earthquakes, and with this number likely to increase in the near future, many argue that we should find a way to predict when these earthquakes occur. Arguably, with such high levels of technology that we have, there must be a way to predict when an earthquake will occur; and he development of being able to do this would be a life saver to many in the future. ...read more.

Middle

Following on, the two prominent methods in predicting earthquakes evolve around the areas of seismic monitoring and statistical analysis. Statistical analysis relates to pinpointing when the next earthquakes occurs, using information of where previous earthquakes have hit. This process had been a prominent feature in the prediction of earthquakes running up to the earthquake which hit Izmit in 1999, as scientist noticed that earthquakes had been occurring along that fault line approaching the city of Izmit, and so the city would be hit next by an earthquake. However, even though scientist predicted that Izmit would be next hit, no warning was given to the city, which is why many people were still killed and damages were on a huge scale. This therefore provides us with the question, which is even if we had the ability to predicts earthquakes, what would we do with it? Many geologists nowadays do not value the ability of prediction, because prediction does not give us the ability to reduce the damage of the earthquake, as it is not possible to evacuate a whole city where the earthquake will occur. It could be argued therefore, that predicting earthquakes is a near-impossible goal, because scientists focus more on enhancing the ways in which earthquakes can withstand earthquakes, rather than predicting them. ...read more.

Conclusion

He believes that when the earth is in a chaotic state, there can be features that can be recongnised, and so this could also be the case with smaller earthquakes. However, even with such a developed theory like this, there are still complications involving it, like the fact that an earthquake Boruc predicted would occur in Palm Springs in 2004, never actually occurred. Therefore, we can see that predicting earthquakes is an impossible goal, as even the most scientifically proven and developed theories does not have ability to do it. In conclusion, although billions of dollars have been spent on technology to predict earthquakes, and many theories relating to predicting earthquake shave been developed, still to this day, predicting earthquakes remains a near-impossible goal. I believe the main reason for this is simply because earthquakes are very complex and complicated, and they are in fact too complex to predict. For one, how can you predict an earthquake when it moves one hundred and fifty kilometres in just five seconds, and a only a tiny slip a plate boundary of two centimetres, can produce an earthquakes of 7.9 on the Richter scale. Earthquakes occur too quickly, and only the slightest bit of movement can cause them to occur, which is the underlying factor why earthquakes are impossible to predict. ...read more.

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