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为什么地震是如此难预测

Why Earthquakes Are So Hard To Predict

Hi, this is Alex, from MinuteEarth.
嗨 我是亚历克斯 来自分钟地球
San Francisco has been hit by a big earthquake at least once every hundred years going back
旧金山每百年就至少会发生一次大地震
as far as we know.
据我们所知 是这样
So the people of San Francisco know that sometime in the next 100 years, they’re likely to
所以 旧金山人知道在下个百年
get shaken again by a big quake.
还可能发生一次大地震
But we can’t say exactly when the quake might hit.
但我们没法得知地震的确切时间
Right now, all we can do is construct shake-proof buildings and put out seismic sensors.
目前 能做的是建防震建筑 安置检测器
That way, when an earthquake sends out underground waves, which travel from its epicenter eight
这样 我们就能检测到地震发出的地下波
times faster than the destructive surface waves, we can detect the underground waves
它的速度八倍于破坏性强的表面波
with enough time to give a warning like: “Uh oh!
就有足够时间发出警报
An earthquake is about to hit us!”… which is, surprisingly, enough time to turn off
“啊 地震来了!”还能关掉输气管道
gas pipelines and stop trains and find cover, but it doesn’t help people get out of town.
停运火车并藏好 但这不够人们离开城镇
For people to evacuate safely from natural disasters, it’s not helpful to give a really
从自然灾害中安全撤离 短时的警报
short warning, or a really big window within which a disaster might happen.
不明确的预言 都是无用的
According to disaster experts, 2 days is juust right.
专家说 2天时间最为合适
But if we want to be able to be predict earthquakes with that amount of precision, we need to
但是 想提高预测地震的精确度
understand a LOT more about how they work.
需要了解更多地震的形成
We’ve tried looking backwards at quakes that have already happened, and identifying
我们看过太多的地震 不停总结
events that occurred in the days before they hit, like multiple mini-quakes, big releases
它们发生前的各种现象 如数次小地震
in radon gas, changes in magnetism, and even weird animal behavior, to see if any of these
大型氡气泄露 磁场变化 甚至动物的异常行为
were predictors of an impending quake.
这些是否为地震的前兆
But lots of times these things happen without accompanying earthquakes, and lots of times
但这些现象发生时多数没有伴随地震 而很多时候
earthquakes happen without these things,
地震发生时也没有这些现象
so, so far we haven’t been able to find any reliable predictors.
所以 目前还没有可靠的前兆
Another approach is to build an accurate model of the earth beneath our feet: we know that
另一方法是建立精确的地球模型:我们知道
over time, as tectonic plates rub against each other, the stress that builds up is sometimes
地球板块相互摩擦 长时间积累的压力
violently released as an earthquake.
会以地震的形式释放出来
If we had a really good model and reliable measurements of the forces on the plates,
如果我们有优质模型和有效措施
maybe then we could predict when and where an earthquake was going to happen.
或许我们就可以预测到地震的时间地点
But plates are often more than 15 miles thick.
但是板块厚度通常超过15英里
That’s twice as deep as humans have ever dug,
两倍于人们已发掘的厚度
so it would be pretty difficult to get monitoring equipment deep enough.
所以 很难找到相当深度的机器
So, we’re creating mini-faults in the lab, to better understand the forces on moving
而模拟小断层 更有助理解板块运动的力
plates, and to help identify reliable ways to measure the forces from the surface of the earth.
也有助于发现测量地球表面力的可靠方法
But in order to test our models, we need to be able to compare them to actual gigantic
模型测试需要与真实的大地震对比
earthquakes, which, as we mentioned, don’t happen that often.
但我们知道 大地震不常发生
Luckily for researchers, a few ocean faults are more productive,
好在有几个大洋板块经常活动
and frequently cause large but relatively harmless quakes,
频繁出现 规模大但伤害小的地震
giving us a regular way to calibrate and fine tune our models.
能让我们不断校准模型
One big thing they’ve helped us learn is that the interactions between fault segments are really important:
让我们得知断层间的相互作用很重要:
For example, when this particular segment slips,
例如 某一板块滑动
it increases the chances its neighbor will slip,
会增加相邻板的滑动几率
letting us predict where the next quake will happen
让我们得以预测下一地震点
In some faults, we can even say that it’ll happen within a couple of years.
对于某些断层 甚至能说出几年内会发生
Compared to a hundred year window, that’s really precise, but there are still two big problems
与百年预测期相比已经很精准了 但仍有两个大问题
First, these ocean faults are relatively simple, so we still have to figure out how to apply
首先 这些大洋板块较简单 所以得知道
what we’ve learned from them to more complicated faults, like the ones near San Francisco.
如何运用到复杂板块上 如旧金山附近
And second, even if we could do that,
其次 即使做了这些
we’d still be a long way away from the ideal two-day notices.
仍无法达到到理想的两天警报
And unfortunately, our existing methods probably aren’t going to help us get there.
而且我们现有的方法并不能做到以上实验
What we need is an earth-shattering breakthrough.
我们需要一个惊天动地的突破性进展
Thanks to the University of Rhode Island for sponsoring this video, which was made possible
感谢罗德岛大学对视频的支持
by a National Science Foundation grant to Matt Wei, a professor in URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography.
感谢获得国家科学基金会赞助的海洋学教授马特·魏
Dr. Wei uses seismic data and simulations to study the physics of plate tectonics and earthquakes.
魏博士用数据模拟实验来研究板块和地震
His research on fast spreading oceanic transform faults – like the Discovery fault in the East Pacific
他的海洋板块快速扩张-东太平洋板块探究
– has helped us start to understand the importance of earthquake cycles
-已经开始帮我们了解地震周期的重要性
as we work to crack the code of earthquake physics.
继续破译地震的密码
Thanks University of Rhode Island.
感谢罗德岛大学

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视频概述

通过例子说明了为什么地震是难以预测的,并提出了相关改进方法。

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翻译译者

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6d0UqY6IsA

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