Ah! If you pamper your baby’s mood by powdering his delicate skin with talc, the Mother Nature too does it with at least one of its child — the ‘moody’ San Andreas fault!
Yes, a powdery mineral has been found, which prevents the long-baffling fault from causing fury or more major quakes.
Though the northern and southern sections are prone to occasional but violent and disastrous quakes, the central section moves in tiny increments causing frequent but minor tremors.
Though remained a puzzle, the scientists for decades tried to explain the ‘aseismic creep’ with the tectonic masses’ basic mechanics — the Pacific and North American Plates. But, it is only recently, they have come up with a surprising discovery – the presence of the ‘talc’ two miles below the earth’s surface.
The minerals there are found to be soft, which may be responsible in reducing friction between the Earth-crust’s continent-sized chunks. Weakly-bonded microscopic platelets hold the talc together, sliding past one another, giving it the soft, almost oily feel.
Scientist Christopher Wibberly explains,
Talc’s properties are likely to encourage slow, stable creep, inhibiting the build-up of elastic energy.
This, according to him, prevents a major earthquake’s faster sliding and unstable slip.
After all, it’s the baby’s care by the Nature, which can only keep its child’s fury at bay.