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Daily Quake Replaces The Daily Grind

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-18

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A new service debuted today, offering Californians a forecast of potential earthquake activity.

By visiting an online map, people in California can see a color-coded representation of where the most likely probability of strong shaking will occur.

Strong shaking is better known to researchers as Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) VI; its the level of shaking that throws items off shelves. A color bar ranging from blue to red in intensity gives the probability of a quake occurring in a given area.

Researchers create each day's map by starting with a base probability a quake will occur for a given area. As other quakes of varying intensities occur, the probability that it will be followed by an earthquake large enough to cause strong shaking is calculated from the known behavior of aftershocks.

Areas near San Francisco and Los Angeles have the greatest probability each day of experiencing a quake, about 1 in 10,000.



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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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