Anchor-like force proposed for subduction zones


  • Michael Carlowicz


Two plate tectonics researchers have turned to a simple maritime tool to explain a 25-year-old mystery. Christopher Scholz and Jaime Campos have proposed that the action of a sea anchor, which is used to steady ships in deep water, provides an apt model of the forces at work when the Earth's crustal plates collide and why those collisions provoke powerful earthquakes in some subduction zones and just minor temblors in others.