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THREAD - so here is a list of the 5 or so most common myths and misconceptions by the general public and fellow non-specialist scientists alike that I encounter in my field of research.
#mythbusting #Factchecking
*MYTH No. 1*: the time, location and size of impending earthquakes can be predicted accurately on many occasions.
No. Anyone who says they can is a total charlatan. Forecasting (years->decades) is getting better, but still not successful on short timescales (i.e. days to months)
*MYTH No. 2*: Seismic monitoring networks and government agencies hide seismic data & earthquake parameters from the public.
No. Anyone who says so is a paranoid conspiracy theorist. It is in no one's interest to hide this data and scientists aren't the best at keeping secrets.
*MYTH No. 3*: If it's onshore oil or gas extraction, it's fracking.
No. Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") process is not the only way of getting hydrocarbons out of the ground. Most large oil/gas reservoirs have their own natural flow do not require injecting fluid to "stimulate"
This more "conventional" extraction method has been occurring for decades offshore, & can also take place on land. Likewise, fluid injection sometimes occurs offshore. Fracking onshore in the UK requires specialist govt licenses.
Some very smart people I know struggle with this.
*MYTH No. 4*: Fracking is the only industrial process that can cause quakes.
No. Decades of scientific study have shown that induced earthquakes can also result from coal mining, impounding water in reservoirs, wastewater disposal, geothermal energy extraction, construction etc
In fact, fracking itself probably only accounts for <10% of all reported cases of human-induced seismicity globally.
Ref: inducedearthquakes.org
*MYTH No. 5*:
Earth's crust floats on a layer of molten magma.
No. Earth's Mantle layer is very solid, and may incredibly slowly over very long timescales (e.g. millions of yrs) - think old stained-glass windows in churches. Mushy rock (magma) only sits beneath volcanic areas
That's pretty much it for me.
Any fellow scientists want to add some more misconceptions that you frequency encounter to the list?
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