Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

Amsterdam Water Week
Young entrepreneurs from 'Finish Society India' and 'Sidian Bank Kenya' were honoured in this year’s 'Sarphati Sanitation Awards'’, presented at the opening ceremony of Amsterdam International Water Week on 30 October 2017.

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  • Earth's molten core could give earthquake warnings 5 years ahead
    Changes in the flow of iron around Earth's outer core are thought to contribute to very small fluctuations in the length of our days. Now researchers say the sloshing of our planet's core could also be used for potential earthquake warnings, possibly even years ahead.

    You've probably never noticed variations in the length of a day, as they're measured in milliseconds, but they represent very slight slowdowns in the speed that the world is spinning at. Geophysicists from the Universities of Colorado and Montana have found a correlation between day length variations over the last 100 years and major magnitude 7 earthquakes. They think the same root cause could be behind both - that molten iron sloshing around in Earth's core.

    If the hypothesis holds up, it could provide a new earthquake predictor that could give as much as five years of advance warning about the risk of increased tremors.

    No one's quite sure how this sloshing action works, though it also affects slight changes in Earth's magnetic field as well as day length, so we know it's happening. One idea is that part of the molten outer core sticks to the mantle above, changing the flow of liquid, and checking Earth's momentum.

    The researchers found clusters of serious earthquakes happening at roughly 32-year intervals. They've matched those clusters with peaks in the fluctuation in day lengths - and so maybe also with activity deep within Earth. With Earth spinning at some 465 metres per second, the researchers say some kind of sloshing action could plausibly trigger a season of earthquake activity.

    Science Alert    November 01, 2017