Tectonic plate forces may hold secrets of earthquakes

New research has brought seismologists one step closer to learning how earthquakes come about.

Researchers used simple laboratory models to examine the forces behind the movement of plates in the Earth’s thick outer shell. They used layers of silicon putty to represent tectonic plates and big tanks of glucose syrup to represent the earth’s crust.

The researchers found that a significant amount of force needed to be traded between the two plates to create a unique shape, such as that seen in mountain ranges.

The researchers focused on the Nazca plate which plunges beneath continental South America and is visible in the shape of the Andes.

Read more at Australian National University