Artificial Intelligence: AI Could Bring Us Fresh Insight Into Earthquakes

Researchers at Los Alamos National Lab find that AI could help predict the timing of a quake.

Scientists have long held the view that earthquakes are impossible to predict, being random events. But the potential for damage these natural events have, including the loss of life, have led researchers to explore whether that could be changed using technology such as AI and machine learning.

Scientists at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, led by Dr Paul Johnson, a staff scientist at the lab’s geophysics group, conducted experiments that attempted to predict the timing of a quake, rather than its magnitude, location or time. The test was surprisingly successful.

Simulated quakes

The scientists used an earthquake simulation machine at Penn State to create an artificial tremor. They then fed copious amounts of data from this simulated quake into a machine learning model.

When they ran the model to see its efficacy they were surprised. “It worked almost immediately,” Johnson said. “And we were just stunned at how quickly it worked and how easily it worked on a problem that we had struggled with for so long.”

Real world, slow-slip quakes

The scientists then applied their model to a kind of real-world tremor known as a “slow slip earthquake.”

These imperceptible earthquakes happen when one tectonic plate impacts another over extended periods of time, even as long as a month.

In February 2011, two such slow slip earthquakes started creeping along the Japan Trench and a month later, set off a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that shook Japan for nearly six minutes. It triggered a tsunami and a nuclear disaster that together took over 20,000 lives.

The Los Alamos scientists then tested their findings in the Pacific Northwest on these silent quakes.

They found that the AI-driven computers could successfully predict the next slow-slip right after the previous one.

But forecasting killer quakes is still a long way off

However, it is still not possible for scientists to predict the tragic real-life mega quakes that strike the world with tragic loss of life.

“For seismogenic earthquakes, the ones we really care about as citizens, we’re not there yet,” Johnson said.

Related Story: Fugaku, The World’s Fastest SuperComputer Predicts Tsunami Flooding

Free Industry News

Subscribe to our free newsletter for updates and news about alternatives investments.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Latest Alternative Investment News
FinTech: Klarna’s Valuation Plunges To $6.5B In Talks To Raise $650M (WSJ)
July 1, 2022     FinTech, Latest News, News

Klarna, the Swedish fintech known for its buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) financial product, is negotiating to raise $650 million at a valuation of $6.5 billion, which is a very sharp comedown from…
Venture Capital: OppZo, Which Funds Small Businesses Having Government Contracts, Raises $260M
July 1, 2022     News, Venture Capital

Fintech OppZo brings together investors and small businesses that need working capital loans for their government-facing businesses. Typically located in economically stressed areas of the country, these businesses represent an…
Alternative Investments/Digital: Jacobi To Launch Europe’s First Bitcoin ETF This Month

The Jacobi Bitcoin ETF, from Jacobi Asset Management, will have a number of firsts to its credit when it starts trading this month. It will be the first exchange-traded equity…
Artificial Intelligence: John Deere’s Advances in AI Powered Agriculture Machinery
July 1, 2022     Artificial Intelligence, News

John Deere (NYSE: DE) has achieved leadership in automated machinery powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The self-driving tractor pictured above was revealed in CES 2022 and has six pairs of…