Geology professor talks about earthquakes at subduction zones

Mariana Silva

There is a 100 percent chance of an earthquake today somewhere on the planet. This is a fact, not a prediction, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Michael Brudzinski from Miami University will talk about earthquakes resulting from the movement of plates at subduction zones, today at the 2009 Geology Colloquium at Kent State.

Brudzinski will present “Dancing with the Plates: How the Earth Likes to Shimmy Before it Quakes,” at 2:15 p.m., Room 234 in McGilvrey Hall.

According to the USGS, earthquakes are a risk to 75 million Americans in 39 states and unlike volcanic eruptions, which can be predicted within months or weeks ahead of time, can’t be forecast.

Brudzinski will be talking about episodic slows slips, frequent ground vibrations that usually occur below where earthquakes happen.

Identifying episodic slow slips may help estimating the probability of earthquakes, but researchers are still working on the relationship between the two, Brudzinski said.

“We hope that by looking at this we can forecast more in short-term when and where earthquakes are more likely to happen,” Brudzinski said. “But we are not there yet.”

Brudzinski holds a doctorate in Geophysics from the University of Illinois and currently teaches at Miami University. He has also taught at Eckerd College, University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin.

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Mariana Silva at [email protected].