We often think of earthquakes as sudden, violent events that shake the ground beneath our feet. However, there is a hidden type of seismic activity called slow earthquakes that can have subtle yet significant effects on the Earth's crust. Recently, a group of seismologists from the Institute of Geophysics (IGEF) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) achieved a groundbreaking milestone by measuring the rotation of the ocean floor during a slow earthquake. This scientific feat not only provides frontier data for understanding the origins of tsunamis but also represents a significant step forward in the future prediction of earthquakes.
The ambitious project, running from 2016 to 2022, was a collaborative effort between the IGEF and the University of Kyoto in Japan. With funding of 6.5 million dollars, primarily provided by Japan and supplemented by Mexico through organizations like CONACYT (now CONAHCYT) and UNAM, the project aimed to explore the rotation of the ocean floor caused by slow earthquakes in Mexico's coastal areas.