December 21, 2013

An earthquake or a snow avalanche has its own shape

Predicting earthquakes or snow avalanches is difficult, but to for instance reduce the related risks it is of high importance to know if an avalanche event is big or small.

Researchers from Aalto University have, together with colleagues from Oslo and ENS, Lyon, found that such events or say the acoustic sound bursts coming from the tearing of paper have a typical form independent of whether they are big or small. However, it is crucial what one observes – paper fracture or the avalanching of snow. The results were just published in the Nature Communications journal.