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Earthquakes alert mechanism- is there one? is there any proposed solution?

There seem to be many unsolved issues for which we do not have any technological solutions . One such example is how can we know when an earthquake will happen? Is anyone aware of any technology in place today which can alert in advance the occurrence of an earthquake? What other such examples can you think of?

  • Jun 9 2011: So what other topics are out there that we don't seem to have a solution for? Research performed nowadays is very slow and kind of out of sync with the speed of changes that occur around us. Too cautious , we need something more "explosive" if I may say so. What i mean by that fresh new ideas even if it sounds crazy why not explore it.
  • Jun 4 2011: The short answer is no - there is currently no way of reliably predicting earthquakes. Faults which are likely to fail can be monitored (as they do with the San Andreas fault) but small movements need not be a predictor of larger movements. On the contrary, no movement could mean sustained build up of energy followed by a sudden large devastating slip. In addition, not all faults are known and earthquakes can occur along any of these unknown faults. The Sept 2010 New Zealand quake occurred along a previously unknown fault.
    There is a case of a successful prediction of the 1975 quake in Haicheng, China. Scientists noted changes in water levels and land elevation and also in animal behaviour and evacuated the region. An earthquake occurred a few days after the evacuation. However, these warning signs do not always occur. The USGS and various universities along the US, Japan and I am sure other Pacific coast countries are actively engaged in research. You can check their websites. Here is a good place to start http://earthquake.usgs.gov/
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    Jun 4 2011: Sink more sensors everywhere,every 1 kilometer across the planet?
  • May 29 2011: Hmmm interesting... I wonder what other topics are like this one?!
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    May 29 2011: Opened up similar discussion sometimes ago but seems there was not much information among TED community or interest was low to share (check the link)
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/1334/when_will_we_be_able_to_have_a.html

    Hope this time you can generate some information /interest.