Earthquakes seem to be able to turn around and hit an area with a second pass – an event known as a “boomerang earthquake” – on rare occasions.
Scientists recently found evidence of “boomerang earthquakes” in a new study, highlighting an event that happened in the Atlantic in 2016.
The earthquake – which took place in the Romanche fault zone – struck between Brazil and the west coast of Africa. There was a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in August 2016. The tremor went in one direction and then it returned on its second attack, increasing the speed on the second attack, according to ScienceAlert.
Or, described differently, “the fracture initially spread out of the original rupture point but then turned around and ran back in another direction at a higher rate,”; according to Phys.org.
Stephen Hicks, lead research group and seismologist from Imperial College London, said: “While scientists discovered that such reverse fault mechanism could occur from physical models. Theoretically, our new research provides some of the clearest evidence for this mysterious mechanism to occur in a real error.
“Although the fault structure looks simple, how the earthquake evolved, and this is quite the opposite of how we predicted the earthquake before we started analyzing the data.”
An earthquake has two phases. The first person heads east before turning around and going west.
Of course, this is the first reported incident of an earthquake caused by boomerang. According to National Geographic, it is so rare that it is difficult to find again unless researchers find it.
Evidence is growing about these events. But more research is needed to discover more.
“The theory says it’s there, but it’s pretty hard to see that (in the real world),” said geophysicist Louisa Brotherson, a PhD. Researcher at Liverpool University in England, who simulates earthquakes.