What instrument monitors vertical movement of a fault?


What instrument monitors vertical movement of a fault?

Keeping an Eye on Faults:

The Earth's surface is a very fractured structure due often to the collision of the tectonic plates or the result of such happenings. Many of the fractured zones contain what we call faults which are areas where the opposing land masses can move and shift. This sometime can happen abruptly yielding earthquakes.

Answer and Explanation: 1

Knowing how devastating earthquakes can be caused by the shifting at fault lines, geologists and seismologists have developed a number of tools to help them monitor changes at these faults. One important measurement to track is whether a land mass is changing vertically indicating it is rising or falling. This is normally done by the use of a tiltmeter which measures the change in tilt or angle of the ground which would indicate the rising or falling of the land mass. It acts much like a carpenter's level, the ones with the bubbles in a liquid. if the bubble raises, or lowers depending on the instrument configuration, you can determine that the land mass has risen or fallen. Such movement along with other measurements can help predict an imminent earthquake. The tiltmeter is not the only tool available to scientists now since the invention of GPS satellites. These satellites can measure both the change in vertical movement as well as horizontal movement of the land masses comprising a fault zone. The more correlating information the better when it comes to predicting earthquakes.

Learn more about this topic:

San Andreas Fault: Location, Facts & Earthquakes


Chapter 21 / Lesson 11

Explore the San Andreas fault. Learn the definition of the San Andreas fault, its location on a map, activity in California, and key facts about the fault system.

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