Quake Predictor

Changes in a geyser's timing may mean the earth is about to move

Geysers like Old Faithful fire fountains of steaming water from the earth at impressively regular intervals. When the intervals change, though, it may be time to stop being impressed and start running for cover. According to a report in Science, the interval between one geyser's eruptions, at least, tends to fluctuate before a major earthquake takes place. The only catch: the quakes happen far away.

The report is based on a study of a geyser near Calistoga, a town in Northern California's wine country noted for its hot springs. Two scientists, now at Washington's Carnegie Institution, analyzed the timing of eruptions...

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