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New Zealand’s mysterious ‘silent earthquake’ could help predict future tsunamis | Instant News


New Zealand

What is slow slip? Video / GNS Science

An earthquake that occurs slowly and quietly deep beneath the North Island can be the key to predicting future earthquakes and tsunamis generated by our biggest fault.

A million dollar, three-year project will increase scientists’ understanding of
Earthquakes “slow” along the Hikurangi Subduction Zone.

Scientists believe the subduction zone, which runs along the east coast of the North Island, could produce “megathrust” earthquakes larger than the scale of 8, such as the one that created the tsunamis that devastated Indonesia in 2004 and Japan in 2011.

The worst case scenario of a major Hikurangi event could include thousands of deaths and injuries, and billions of dollars worth of property losses.

But slow-slip earthquakes – where plate boundary faults release slowly buried tension over days to months instead of seconds in a typical earthquake – can help us better gauge threats.

Their discovery 20 years ago has revolutionized seismology and our understanding of fault mechanics.

Even though it happens off the east coast every few years, no one feels it when it happens – and the driving force remains unclear.

The new project, led by GNS Science, is designed to detect subtle physical changes in a fault before a slow-slip earthquake occurs, to uncover the mechanisms that regulate its timing.

“It will clarify if there is an observable physical change in the fault that could allow the development of a more accurate estimate of when the fault might fail, either in a slow earthquake or, possibly, a fast earthquake,” said project leader Dr Laura Wallace.

Tantalizing evidence has emerged in recent years that increased water pressure near the fault exerts great control over New Zealand’s slow-slip earthquakes.

GNS seismologist Dr Emily Warren-Smith said if this build-up affects slip times, then monitoring water accumulation in the fault could allow better forecasts for slow and possibly fast earthquakes in the future.

But it is possible that the change in fluid pressure within the fault may be a symptom of a slow earthquake rather than a direct cause, said Wallace.

Alternatively, there may be other processes such as a steady increase in stress from tectonic plate motion that controls the tempo of a slow slip earthquake.

The project aims to resolve this dichotomy by installing large-scale submarine and land monitoring instruments in the southern Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa.

It will monitor changes before, during and after the regularly expected recurring slow slip events offshore in this region in the next two years.

This picture illustrates where "slow slip" previous earthquakes occurred under the North Island.  Image Science / GNS
This image depicts where a previous “slow slip” earthquake occurred beneath the North Island. Image Science / GNS

Wallace said the project would establish new ground in seabed geodesy and help put New Zealand at the forefront of global efforts to monitor offshore faults that can produce large earthquakes and tsunamis.

The team departed this weekend aboard the Niwa research vessel Tangaroa to carry out the first set of seabed sensor deployments.

“This project will generate new evidence-based information that will aid significantly in planning and preparedness and make New Zealand safer and more capable of recovering from a major earthquake.”

A separate voyage to the Hikurangi subduction zone – where the Pacific Plate is plunging downward, or “plunging” below the North Island’s east coast – has just finished.

US scientists recently dropped their own specialized equipment onto the ocean floor to visualize subsurface structures, and investigated how fluid is distributed within the sediments.

The Hikurangi subduction zone is where the Pacific tectonic plate sinks into - or dives beneath - the Australian tectonic plate.  Image Science / GNS
The Hikurangi subduction zone is where the Pacific tectonic plate sinks into – or dives beneath – the Australian tectonic plate. Image Science / GNS

Program leader Dr Jess Hillman, from GNS Science, said this will allow scientists to better understand how fluid movement is related to activity in our largest offshore faults and the generation of gases beneath the ocean floor.

Shipping specialist Dr Peter Kannberg, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the US, said earthquakes, the stability of the seabed slopes and the release of seabed gases were all regulated in part by the presence of fluids.

“Our instrumentation can detect where this fluid is on Earth, enabling us to better understand the role of fluids in regulating these natural hazards.”

The new three-year project is supported by a $ 960,000 grant from the Marsden Fund.

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The Mysterious Redmi Phone Surface at TENAA, Could Be a Variant of Redmi 9 | Instant News


The mysterious Redmi phone carrying the M2003J15SC quantity mannequin has appeared on China’s TENAA certification website with several key specifications. This phone seems to have 4G connectivity and 6.53 inch performances. In addition, some {hardware} information about the new entry-level Redmi phone has been posted on Weibo. These are more likely to be identical mannequins that are already known on the TENAA website. Some previous stories have urged that a Redmi phone with a M2003J15SC mannequin number will be launched because of the Redmi Note 9 Pro. However, the latest revelations recommend variations between the Redmi Note 9 Pro and mannequins without notice.

TENAA website to show that a Redmi phone with a M2003J15SC mannequin number will include 6.53 inches full-HD + (1080 × 2340 pixels) showing and repacking a 4,920mAh battery. This breakdown also means that the phone will feature 3GB, 4GB, and 6GB RAM options, and 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB internal storage variations.

Photos obtained on the TENAA website show that the Redmi phone’s design is very similar to the one we noticed on the Redmi Note 9 Pro. However, there are several variations. Sometimes, the LED flash is again positioned next to the digital camera settings, as an alternative under the digital camera sensor. The selfie camera placement can be on the upper left side of the new phone. This is not like Redmi Note 9 Pro which has a selfie digicam in the middle.

Additional details indicate that the phone may have a size of 162.3 × 77.2 × 8.9mm. Furthermore, this breakdown contains dual-SIM assistance and an Android working system in addition to Bluetooth and GPS assistance.

Although Xiaomi hasn’t hinted at a new Redmi phone, the details on the TENAA website really show that it obtained certification from the regulator on March 25.

In addition to detailing TENAA, confidential information on Weibo as well claimed several new entry-level Redmi phone specifications that appear to be identical handsets are already known to the M2003J15SC mannequin quantity. Secret experts have talked about that the phone will include a full-HD + 6.53 inch (1080 × 2340 pixel) show and octTec MediaTek Helio G80 SoC. It can be mentioned to combine a 48 megapixel rear camera, a 13 megapixel selfie camera, and a 5,000 mAh battery along with fast charging of 22.5W. In addition, the Redmi phone which was not announced was reported to have a thickness of 8.9mm and a weight of 198 grams.

The number of mannequins M2003J15SC is previously linked to Redmi Note 9 Pro by some confidential information and online sources. However, the mysterious handset specifications listed are completely different from what we had on the Redmi phone which was launched in India last month.

If we use a rumor factory, Redmi phones with the number of M2003J15SC mannequins might be part of the Redmi 9 series. Earlier reports urged several key specifications of Redmi 9 mannequins that match those we have obtained from China now.

That said, it’s safe to think of the latest revelations with a pinch of salt until Xiaomi officially makes the announcement.


Is the iPhone SE the last word ‘cheap iPhone’ for India? We mention this on Orbital, our weekly expertise podcast, which you can follow Apple Podcast or RSS, download episode, or just press the play button below.

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