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From earthquakes to icequakes


Big earthquakes on land can trigger small distant 'icequakes' in the Antarctic ice sheet.

At magnitude 8.8, the 2010 Maule earthquake in Chile was the largest quake in the Southern Hemisphere for half a century. Zhigang Peng at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and his colleagues hunted for traces of it at seismic stations across Antarctica.

They discovered high-frequency shaking representing small icequakes, with waves of tremors appearing in the kilometre-thick ice sheet that covers the frozen continent. These seemed to be triggered by the lower-frequency rumble stemming from the Chilean event, and represent the first evidence of links between quakes in the solid earth and in the cryosphere.

Nature Geosci. (2014)

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From earthquakes to icequakes. Nature 512, 117 (2014).

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