Mexico to analyze seismic footprint with Japanese technology

Analyzing the geologic record does not reveal cues for future earthquakes, but rather portrays relevant data of previous quakes and ancient tsunamis
Mexico to analyze seismic footprint with Japanese technology
A monitor of seismic waves – Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/REUTERS
04/04/2018
15:43
Notimex
Mexico City
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For the first time, Mexico is analyzing Guerrero's seismic footprint with special equipment donated by Japan that examines magnitude, quantity, and frequency of tremors over 6.5 magnitude which may be associated with tsunamis.

At a press conference, María Teresa Ramírez Herrera, researcher at the Institute of Geography of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), showcased the Geoslicer, previously used only in Japan and the United States.

The device is capable of revealing faulting in deeper, water-saturated sediments below the water table, where both geologists and geophysicists cannot trench.

However, Ramírez Herrera stressed that analyzing the geologic record does not reveal cues for future earthquakes, but rather portrays relevant data of previous quakes and ancient tsunamis indicating how far the flood reached a crucial fact for shelter installation in a future event.

The researcher explained that the Geoslicer will provide relevant data of up to 3,000 years ago, a huge step back in time since historical records place the largest earthquake back in 1787, "which may have flooded up to 5 km inland and reached a maximum height of up to 20 meters."

The device has been set to the specific characteristics of our country, thus it is expected that the first results will be delivered by the end of this year.

Roughly speaking, the device is designed to take out a slice of land which would indicate if there was an event in the past, in a similar vein as an x-ray or a tomography would, explained Ramírez Herrera.

Moreover, Ramírez Herrera disclosed that there has not been any important earthquake in the Guerrero seismic gap since 1911, resulting in an energy accumulation energy which at some point it will be released.

It should be noted that the Geoslicer is part of the monitoring program that is carried out on the Pacific coast, but it is not an alert instrument. 

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