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Scientific - Sounds may predict avalanches
چهارشنبه 13 اردیبهشت 1391

Sounds may predict avalanches

   نوشته شده توسط: فریده جلیلوند    

 

 

Sounds may predict avalanches

 

GENEVA, Switzerland (UPI) -- Forecasting avalanches may be possible by listening for increases of icequakes and their distinctive sounds, Swiss researchers say

Geologists listening in on the groan and creak of icequakes -- cracking inside frozen soil or rock containing water or ice -- have developed a model that can predict a collapse up to 15 days before it happens, ScienceNews.org reported Friday

To find early warning signs of an avalanche, scientists in Switzerland placed seismic instruments on a glacier on the northeast face of the Weisshorn, a mountain in the Swiss Alps that towers over the village of Randa, 8,200 feet below. Avalanches on the Weisshorn have claimed 51 lives since the 17th century

In 2003 researchers froze a special microphone called a geophone into the glacier to pick up seismic vibrations

Two weeks before the glacier split in 2005, researchers detected changes in the sounds picked up by the microphone

"As you approach rupture, you hear more sounds," geologist Jerome Faillettaz says. "It's just like if you break a pen or a cracker. You hear some small noise before it breaks"

By combining observations of a glacier's slow movement with the sounds of the icequakes, the researchers say they can detect a rupture 15 days in advance

ArcaMax Science & Technology Ezine


 
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