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Monitoring our home planet - Research Paper Example

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Over the past three decades, natural disasters have increased considerably resulting into loss of life and economic setbacks. In the last five decades, disasters related to metrological, climate and hydrological hazards have claimed millions of life and caused economical devastations…
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Monitoring our home planet
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Download file to see previous pages This paper will analyze the identified phenomenon that leads to natural disasters through a critique on the available web based monitoring resources.
Earthquakes are sudden tremors that result from sudden release of energy from earth crust. The energy produces seismic waves that are experienced as earthquake. The magnitude of earthquake is determined by the degree of frequency of the resultant seismic waves. It is estimated that 500, 000 earthquakes occur annually and they are detectable with the current monitoring instruments. However, only 20% of the detectable earthquakes cannot be felt or experienced. Distribution of earthquakes around the globe is closely associated with tectonic stability. Regions with active geological activities such as volcanoes, and faults lines are more prone to earthquakes than more geologically stable regions. However, this does not restrict earthquakes to certain areas since areas that have never recorded cases of earthquakes such as New York often experience earthquakes that are below the detectable magnitude. The main earthquake zones around the world are closely associated with regions that have history of active volcanic activities, strong tidal waves, areas with natural fault lines and regions within tectonic plate interfaces. Seismometers are used to monitor seismic waves in the earth crust and predict earthquakes. Countries such as Japan, Haiti, Indonesia, and Turkey have experienced severe cases of earthquake in the recent past. Various resources have been set to monitor trends of seismic waves and the possibility of earthquakes. IRIS Seismic Monitor, Live Earthquakes Map and GeoNet – Quakes are some the main earthquake monitoring websites. The web based monitoring technology provides up-to-date information and data on earthquakes. However, the websites have a geographical bias and usually assume the welfare of developing countries. It is evident that the current geological system that depicts seismic hotspots is not accurate. However, the websites are restricted to availability and distribution of earthquakes monitoring infrastructures around the world. Politics plays a significant role in the recording and reporting of earthquakes and related information. Most of the global earthquake monitoring infrastructures such as satellites and seismic wave monitors are controlled by major world powers (Ollier, 1988). This indicates that availability of information concerning earthquakes is closely linked with global politics. In addition, data collection is mainly carried out in area that are of political interest. The seismic monitoring resources do not cover less developed countries or regions of less political interests. However, web based results can be used to predict occurrence of earthquakes in less developed countries through extrapolation methods. Global economics plays a critical role in monitoring and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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