Do Big and Little Earthquakes Start Differently?

Science  16 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5251, pp. 953-954
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5251.953


Can the occurrence of earthquakes be predicted? This question has profound social and scientific implications, but little is known about what triggers earthquakes or what precursor events might indicate one is about to happen. In his Perspective, Vidale reviews recent findings that attempt to resolve the question of whether large earthquakes are initiated by different mechanisms than smaller ones.