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Scientists in Mexico scramble to deploy seismic sensors

Source(s):  New York Times, the (NYT)

By Natalie Schachar


All along Mexico’s west coast, the Cocos and North American tectonic plates meet, the former sliding under the latter. This so-called subduction zone yields periodic earthquakes, which release the energy building up as the plates push against each other.

The Guerrero Gap, just offshore, is of particular concern to scientists because of its proximity to Mexico City — about 200 miles to the southwest. The new network, which relies on GPS, pressure and seismic data, will analyze tectonic plate movement.

To do that, researchers will install sensors and take preliminary measurements in November. Then, over the next four years, a group of more than 50 scientists based in Japan and Mexico will gather data, create computational models of earthquakes and tsunamis, and generate maps of coastal areas near the gap at risk for the next big one.

But the two recent quakes have also highlighted differing scientific opinion about which parts of Mexico are now the most likely to yield the next earthquake. The zone along the coast of the state of Michoacan, which produced the giant quake of 1985? Somewhere southeast of the Guerrero Gap? The gap itself?


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  • Publication date 02 Oct 2017

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