Scientists are continuously thinking of ways to try and reduce earthquake power. Some are trying to lessen the friction between colliding plates. They poured water down a fault where two plates were grinding together. The water “lubricated” the fault, letting one piece jerk free with a number of little earthquakes and preventing a large tremor.
Special instruments are now in existence to give warnings in California, Japan, and New Zealand. They show if land has begun to shift dangerously on a certain side of a fault. Other instruments are used to detect certain gases collecting in groundwater.
Architects are also designing earthquake-proof buildings, constructing on rock instead of gravel, or on soft sand or clay. Large structures are made with strong frameworks of steel or reinforced concrete, so that the frame stands firm even if the ground is shaking. The pyramid-shaped Transamerica building in San Francisco was designed in this fashion.
Researchers are always trying to reduce the impact of earthquakes. They continue to study and experiment with ways to tame the Earth. However, we all still have much more to learn before we can control the power of one of nature’s most amazing phenomena.