Gazing into the future of earthquake prediction
The science of seismology seeks to understand what causes earthquakes by tracking their occurrence, measuring their force and using sophisticated imaging technology to probe the subsurface geology where they happen. While we still don’t fully understand how faults might control the location and timing of earthquakes, geophysicists and computer scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are using an array of new tools to study the interactions among earthquakes, precursor quakes (often very small earth movements) and faults. In this photo, Los Alamos geophysicist Paul Johnson holds a block of acrylic plastic used in the laboratory to study the dynamic interaction of elastic waves within solids. Ultimately this may offer more clues to understanding earthquakes and when they might occur.