As we know, earthquakes can be induced by human activities. Can we induce earthquakes around faults regularly so that the energy releases regularly, and hence prevent high magnitude earthquakes by stopping large amount of energy releases at one time?


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The idea of trying to limit energy released by earthquakes and the damage that may result via the use of controlled smaller blast induced quakes is an interesting idea.

One of the problems with this is that we don't know enough about the snags along faults that cause stresses to accumulate during the normal movements along a fault. We also don't know enough about fault surfaces (shapes, undulations and friction factors) of individual fault surfaces. The other thing we don't know is where the snags are located on fault surfaces: along and down the fault surface.

The strength of snags is one factor which determines how much energy accumulates and is eventually released suddenly when the snag fails.

The other factor is the type of movement at the fault zone. Do the fault surfaces slide past one another laterally, does one sub-duct beneath the other, or are they spreading apart.

With some faults, wedge failures may produce large blocks that act a snags. Other snags can be very hard, strong protrusions of rock firmly cemented in the fault surface. Corrugations can also act as snags.

Another possible mechanism by which quakes can happen, particularly in the subduction zone is that part of the fault surface that is riding over a subduction zone might hang with no support, due to undulations or point support. If the overhanging rock is not strong enough it can fail and drop. The impact of the dropping block then causes an earthquake.

The ways in which earthquakes occur are varied and sometimes complex.


The main problem with this entire proposal is that of simple "Trust:"

Causing an earthquake is hardly like causing a spring rainstorm! "Human activities" may indeed cause earthquakes, but determining the "Magnitude" of the proposed earthquake in advance is, in all practical senses, an actual "crap-shoot."

Further, it's exceedingly difficult to get available "Earthquake Experts" to arrive at any meaningful consensus. For example: How much "push," at what point along the fault-line, will be sufficient to cause how great a magnitude of earthquake?

Asking a dozen "top" experts will result in as many answers.

Nor, evidently, is it possible to get anything resembling any sort of "guarantee" as to when a "Natural" (as opposed to our hypothetical "Induced") earthquake to take place.

There's not even anything resembling a consensus of opinion as to when a "Natural" earthquake will happen--- or which "test" is the most accurate? Runaway pets in general? Runaway cats only? The actions of birds? The responses of fish? Subsurface Infra-sonic wave generation within the fault-line? Surface bulging or subsidence? What? Which is the "more-accurate" way?

This is not an activity the public would welcome with smiles and serene gazes; considering the real-world possibilities of "worst-case scenario events" such as the taking-place of "multi-earthquake-propagation(s)" along portions of an entire branching fault-line.

A cloud-seeding experiment that went awry may break vehicle windows, costing the governments (should government agree on compensation) a few tens of thousands of dollars; a goof creating an earthquake in hopes of reducing the severity of some purportedly-pending natural earthquake that had, instead, propagated into a "Scale-Topper" earthquake could have the potential of causing hundreds if not thousands of injuries and/or deaths, with the potential of tens of trillions of dollars in damages. Most governments would be bankrupted if they even considered assuming financial responsibility.

With the almost-unimaginable risk-potential inherent in this, I can't see any "sane" individual being willing to risk his career---and his very life---in a "crap-shoot" that the unknown true potential of the experiment won't get out of control.

Conversely, I am not certain I could honestly trust any person with such a serious and LITERALLY EARTH-SHAKING RESPONSIBILITY. Particularly if he had been (or had only seemed) majorly self-assured with his predictions.

Nor do I feel that the public as a whole would have confidence in the individual(s).

I am frankly very curious who would have both the guts and either monumental arrogance or staggeringly-huge self-confidence to push such an monumental, untried, scientific agenda through, against the increasingly-worried face of what would surely escalate into a monumental confrontation of public-opinion worries and fears versus government-mandated actions.


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