A new imaging technology that could possibly lead to earthquake predictions in future, have been developed by a team of scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The new airborne radar-based mapping technology will make it possible for scientists to view earthquake images for the first time, on the ground. This latest development has been compared to when the first satellite images of hurricanes were produces in the 1960s.
According to CNN, the new earthquake maps “were taken from a Gulfstream-III aircraft equipped with a radar antenna. The interferogram images i.e. a photographic record of light interference patterns, shows colourful images of lines in undulating butterfly-patterned lines and dots in psychedelic colours that can be used by scientists to determine the behaviour of fault lines.”
The airborne images reveal minute or large motions that occurred below the earth surface, which cannot be perceived by either flying or walking on the surface in question. While the research is still ongoing, it should be stressed that this is not a short term project. It will take several years more of studying and observing earthquakes to finally come out with a working solution. However, if successful, the benefits will be immense in terms of earthquake predictions and expansion of the current hazard maps.