Earth could face more heavy earthquakes in the year 2018

Earthqueakes in 2018 Earthqueake predictions Earthqueakes in tropical areas

Devastating Earthquake. Image credit Venngage

Despite overwhelming prediction for the Nibiru planet hitting the earth, November 19 has passed off peacefully but now geoscientists have joined the chorus predicting numerous earthquakes in the year 2018 due to the slowing of the Earth's rotation.

Roger Bilham, from the University of Colorado in Boulder, claims a slight slowdown in the earth's rotation could trigger increased seismic activity.

"In these periods, there were between 25 to 30 intense earthquakes a year".

Earthqueakes in 2018 Earthqueake predictions Earthqueakes in tropical areas
Cracked road after an earthquake. Image credit Tes Teach

According to the new research, major earthquakes on Earth happen around five years after a maximum deceleration event occurs. It has been observed that even small fluctuations in rotation of the earth would change the length of a day by a millisecond, releasing vast amounts of underground energy.

"The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes", Bilham said, the Guardian reported. Next year we should see a significant increase in numbers of severe earthquakes. We still don't have a way to accurately predict earthquakes, but this might be the first step if Bilham and Bendick prove to be right next year.

"We see it as yet another example of a fortuitous correlation between quake occurrence and an unrelated phenomenon".

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This might not seem like much, and it is virtually unperceivable by us humans, but put in perspective, we find that today's days are longer than days in the year 1900 by nearly two full seconds.

Dr Tim Stahl, lecturer in tectonic geology at University of Canterbury, said while Professors Bilham and Bendick are respected scientists in natural disaster geology and seismic risk, he wants to see their study peer-reviewed. In the years that follow the addition of a millisecond to the Earth's rotation time, earthquakes of magnitudes larger than 7 exceed 20 around the world, sometimes ramping up to 35 a year.

These all coincided with a slowing in the rotation of the Earth, scientists found.

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The Earth's rotation is known to go through regular decades-long periods in which it slows down and speeds up.

Bilham said, 'It is straightforward.

For context, seasonal changes like El Niño have been shown to affect the Earth's rotation, while massive earthquakes can cause shifts in the planet's axial tilt, according to NASA. "The cause of Earth's variable rotation is the exchange of angular momentum between the solid and fluid Earth (atmospheres, oceans and outer core)", they noted in their paper. Earthquakes occur on the crust, but the crust floats on the mantle.

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The team also could not say exactly where the earthquakes will occur, but Bilham suggests that a slower rotation speed will lead to more tremors on and around the equator - such as South America, New Zealand and other places that sit on top of the Ring of Fire.

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