Could quartz mineral hold the key to predicting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions?

By Daily Mail Reporter

  • Underground crystal deposits of the stone are abundant wherever fault lines are located

The mineral quartz could help scientists predict earthquake tremors and volcanic eruptions, according to a study.

Underground crystal deposits of the stone are abundant wherever fault lines occur and indicate a weakness in Earth's crust that is likely to lead to a geological event, scientists found.

In research that could lead to saving thousands of lives in future disasters, they believe the mineral accounts for the movements of continental plates – like the Asiatic plate moving under the North American plate that caused last week's Japan earthquake.

Quartz: The second most abundant mineral after feldspar could help save lives in future disasters by allowing scientists to predict geological events

Marta Perez-Gussinye from the University of London and geophysicist Anthony Lowry from Utah State University published their findings today in the journal Nature.

Lowry said: Certainly the question of why mountains occur where they do has been around since the dawn of time.'

Their findings come after they repeatedly found a link between quartz deposits and geological events that they said was 'completely eye-popping'.

They used Earthscope, a computer program that uses geological and geophysical techniques to look at the structure of the North American continental plate.

The information they gathered showed that quartz minerals were a good indicator of weaknesses in the earth's crust.

The team linked the properties in rocks to movements of Earth. Quartz contains trapped water that is released when heated under stress, allowing rocks to slide and flow in what Lowry termed a "viscous cycle".

Read More

Recent Posts