Geophysics

Gravity tracking of a great earthquake

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Science  10 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6402, pp. 565-566
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6402.565-f

Changes in local gravity are connected to changes in subsurface mass. Panet et al. used GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite data to track large-scale deformation before and after the magnitude-9 Tohoku-Oki earthquake in Japan. Their analysis of the gravity data indicates that deformation occurred deep in the subducting slab starting several months before the earthquake. After the earthquake, mass transferred to the Pacific and Philippine Sea plate interiors. The large-scale and long-time-period gravity observations provide a distinctive perspective on this devastating and well-studied earthquake.

Nat. Geosci. 10.1038/s41561-018-0099-3 (2018).

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