20 Exploratory Essay Topics: What to Write in an Essay about Earthquake Prediction

Topics and ideas
Posted on August 9, 2016

Here are 20 topics on earthquake prediction for an exploratory essay:

  1. Connection of Stress Tensors with Earthquake
  2. How Can Variations in Geochemical and Electromagnetic Signals Be Used to Detect Earthquakes
  3. Linear Elasticity Theory
  4. How Is Strain Accumulation on Plate Boundaries Calculated?
  5. How Difficult Is it to Predict Earthquakes?
  6. Does Quantitative Theory Improve Predictability of Earthquakes
  7. What Is Earthquake Clustering
  8. Probabilistic vs Deterministic Analysis
  9. Earthquake Mitigation Measures
  10. Effectiveness of Van Predictions
  11. Important of Space, Time and Magnitude in an Earthquake Event
  12. Is It Possible to Create Real-life Seismicity Model?
  13. What Problems Does Spatial Inhomogeneity of Epicenter of the Earthquake Cause During Earthquake Determination Process
  14. Earthquake Cataloguing and Seismic Moment Tensor Inversions
  15. Reliability of Deterministic Approach towards Earthquake Prediction
  16. Prediction of Earthquakes through Low-frequency Seismograms or Static Deformation of an Event
  17. How Can Null-hypothesis Help in Filtering Earthquake Evaluation?
  18. Can Earthquake Simulation on Computers Help in Prediction?
  19. Effects of Focal Mechanism on Earthquake Prediction
  20. What Causes Seismicity Variations

Interesting topics, aren’t they? We bet you’re now excited about what topic to go with. Just pick the one you feel will impress your professor. In addition to giving you informative facts and interesting topics to write on, we will also help you with the actual writing process on one topic from the list above.

Sample Exploratory Essay: How Difficult Is It to Predict Earthquakes?

Too often have people asked this question and we believe the confusion in this matter is solely due to a lack of knowledge. The scientific community hasn’t exactly been sitting idle for the past half century, though despite of all the modern day computing power, it is difficult to predict earthquakes with a hundred percent certainty.

Some people have claimed that they’ve built successful systems such as the VAN method which is said to detect low frequency electric signals seven hours before an earthquake, with a tolerance rate of 30 minutes. However, there is still debate amongst seismic researchers that there is simply too much randomness that poses a hindrance to successfully creating a perfect model.

The earth is extremely heterogeneous, quantitative theory about earthquakes is absent and fault zones are inaccessible. Scientists have been stubbornly trying to disprove this by trying to find out other reasons for the difficulties we face in getting reliable predictions.

Fluid properties and standard laws of displacement are known to us if we are to study the turbulent motion of fluids, but in order to have reliable readings of air movement inside a closed room, it has to be calculated for at least five minutes. Similarly the earth’s atmosphere circulation can be successfully and precisely calculated for a few days if the inertial force is strong, hence the weather updates we see on television.

So now that we know that even long term weather detection is impossible, let’s look at what makes earthquakes different. The problem with predicting earthquakes is that the inertial effects are only strong when the subsequent seismic-wave propagation and earthquake rupture is active. Unfortunately, the timescale of the two aforementioned aspects is merely within seconds.

This brings us to the second point to be discussed; how is it that weather is more easily predicted than earthquakes? The process of predicting earthquakes is asymmetric in nature. If you are to look at things from time perspective, the number of foreshock is noticeably low or in some cases none at all. While the seismicity is asymmetric in regards to time, turbulent flow of fluids isn’t, therefore the predictability of earthquakes is unreliable and hit-and-miss, even if the lead times are very small.

The first event of earthquake is called the “Main Shock” and in 50% earthquake events, the main shock is the largest. The start of an earthquake sequence is abrupt which is followed by a series of aftershocks. These are called rupture events, and are supposed to be the stopping phase of an earthquake.

The most extreme atmospheric turbulence event is a tornado with a lead time of half an hour, while the most extreme earthquake can occur without any warning whatsoever. We can detect tornados half an hour in advance, but we can’t detect which direction the tornado is headed, particularly if it’s a tropical hurricane, as a small change can alter its trajectory in a major way.

Concluding it all, weather prediction can be authentic for at least 4 to 5 days while earthquakes of the most destructive nature can happen without any notice whatsoever. This is mainly why scientists are unable to make a breakthrough in terms of accurately predicting earthquakes.

Silver, N. (2015). The Signal And The Noise Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
Tazieff, H. (1992). Earthquake prediction. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Bolt, B. A. (1993). Earthquakes and Geological Discovery. New York: Scientific American Library.
Mulargia, F., & Geller, R. J. (2003). Earthquake Science and Seismic Risk Reduction. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
Hough, S. E. (2007). Richter’s Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Earthquake Storms: The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault. (2014). S.l.: Pegasus Books.
Advances in Earthquake Prediction. (2008). Berlin: Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & KG.

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