How tides can trigger earthquakes

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PIX/basicplanet

Years ago, scientists realised that earthquakes are linked with the tides. But nobody could figure out why there’s an uptick in tremors during low tides.

“Everyone was sort of stumped, because according to conventional theory, those earthquakes should occur at high tides,” explained Christopher Scholz, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. In a study published in Nature Communications, he and his colleagues have uncovered the mechanism for this seeming paradox, and it comes down to the magma below the mid ocean ridges.

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