Mystery behind earthquakes finally revealed: Study

After 100 years of speculation, scientists have finally found proof that strong tides can trigger earthquakes.

The link was confirmed by a trio of researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles and the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention in Japan. Using historical earthquake records and satellite-based observations of tides, the researchers found that &to=' target=_blank>large earthquakes near certain types of faults along coastlines were three times more likely to occur during high tides than low tides, Wired News.

According to National Geographic, the team used the Harvard Centroid-Moment Tensor (CMT) catalog to examine over 2,000 seismic events at shallow thrust faults around the world. The team researched quakes above 5.5 on the Richter magnitude scale that occurred from 1977 through 2000.

The faults also occur in areas where larger ocean tides occur more frequently. In study areas along the continental margins of Japan, New Zealand, Alaska, and the west coast of South America, very large tides coincide with thrust subduction-zone, or faults. Thrust faults are cracks in Earth's crust where one continental plate is rising up and over the other.

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