Skip to content

The “domino theory” about earthquakes is being rejected


The well-known “domino theory” about major earthquakes and their possible correlation is being called into question, following new scientific research.

This theory has suggested a possible “communication” between the major earthquakes that have occurred in recent years, despite the large distances between them. Particularly “violent” and devastating earthquakes had occurred in 2004 in Sumatra, in ’10 in Haiti, and a year later in Japan.

However, scientific research conducted by seismologists Tom Parsons and Eric Geist of the US Geological Survey comes to refute this theory. On the contrary, he concludes that these catastrophic events are accidental and cannot be mutually impacted over such long distances.

In order to examine the possibility that earthquakes are related, scientists studied two groups of large earthquakes. The most recent included those occurring after 2004 and others in the 1960s, when many powerful successive earthquakes again occurred in various parts of the world.


To see if the accumulation of so many earthquakes in the 1960s was accidental or not, and in recent years, the two geologists recorded the time interval between the largest earthquakes (over 8.3 Richter) during the for the last 100 years and compared it with a simulated time series of random earthquakes. They eventually came to the conclusion that large earthquakes occur at random times and do not appear to be interrelated at all.

And how come so many powerful earthquakes are accidental, as they coincide over time? “Yes, it seems strange, but it is not something one would expect from a random process in which the phenomenon of clustering is quite typical. If e.g. no one plays crown-letters many times, the result is not a smooth alternation between crowns and letters, but many crowns or many letters can appear in a row, ”Parsons said.

This, they say, also has a dangerous aspect: that the danger that threatens humanity from mega-earthquakes is statistically the same at any time, since the likelihood of a subsequent catastrophic earthquake does not depend on whether an equally powerful earthquake has recently occurred. another part of the Earth.

houses near trees

On the other hand, according to American geologists, the most optimistic aspect of their study is that since the mega-earthquakes have been accidental and have already happened to many of them in recent years at close intervals, the likelihood of such a recurrence is relatively low. similar accumulation of disasters in the near future.

However, previous research has shown that large earthquakes do indeed appear to have some impact over longer distances, but without gaining much power. “After major earthquakes, we see a lot of micro-earthquakes all over the planet, but for some reason they don’t seem to evolve into major earthquakes,” Parsons said.

The finding of earthquakes, however, is difficult to predict, as some researchers had hoped that any global “communication” of mega-earthquakes would make it possible to predict a similar event.

However, scientists still disagree to what extent future earthquakes can be predicted. Some insist that this geological phenomenon is ultimately chaotic and predictable, while others have not stopped exploring new ways of predicting more effective earthquakes.

The research by Tom Parsons and Eric Gaist was published in the journal Seismic Society of America.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: