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In 1971 researchers hoping to predict earthquakes in the short term by

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Joined: 21 May 2013
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Kudos [?]: 71 [0], given: 487

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Re: In 1971 researchers hoping to predict earthquakes in the short term by [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2017, 04:46
GMATNinjaTwo,

How did you infer that those 2 precursors were 'time' and 'place' as mentioned in Option C? In my opinion, A looks to be the clear winner.

Thanks.

Kudos [?]: 71 [0], given: 487

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Kudos [?]: 87 [0], given: 34

Re: In 1971 researchers hoping to predict earthquakes in the short term by [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2017, 06:17
KS15 wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo,

How did you infer that those 2 precursors were 'time' and 'place' as mentioned in Option C? In my opinion, A looks to be the clear winner.

Thanks.

Quote:
(Book Question: 16)
The author implies which of the following about the ability of the researchers mentioned in line 18 to predict earthquakes?

A. They can identify when an earthquake is likely to occur but not how large it will be.
B. They can identify the regions where earthquakes are likely to occur but not when they will occur.
C. They are unable to determine either the time or the place that earthquakes are likely to occur.
D. They are likely to be more accurate at short-term earthquake prediction than at long-term earthquake prediction.
E. They can determine the regions where earthquakes have occurred in the past but not the regions where they are likely to occur in the future.

The passage states that "these foreshocks [that precede most large earthquakes] indicate nothing about the magnitude of an impending quake and are indistinguishable from other minor tremors that occur without large earthquakes."

Thus, the researchers cannot use foreshocks (precursory phenomena) to predict earthquakes. A foreshock could be followed by a large earthquake, a small earthquake, or no earthquake at all. Thus, the foreshocks do not give us any information about the time or place that earthquakes are likely to occur.

In other words, if a phenomena gives you no information about whether an earthquake will occur, then obviously it does not give you any information about the time or place that an earthquake will occur. Although "time" and "place" are not specifically cited, we can infer this from the statements in the passage.

Refer to my earlier post for additional analysis of this question and an explanation of why choice (A) is wrong: https://gmatclub.com/forum/in-1971-rese ... l#p1835521.
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Re: In 1971 researchers hoping to predict earthquakes in the short term by [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 07:57
anuj11 wrote:
Can some one explain question 13 ? I cant distinguish between C and E !! Ended up picking C

Quote:
(Book Question: 13)
It can be inferred from the passage that one problem with using precursory phenomena to predict earthquakes is that minor tremors

A. typically occur some distance from the sites of the large earthquakes that follow them
B. are directly linked to the mechanisms that cause earthquakes
C. are difficult to distinguish from major tremors
D. have proven difficult to measure accurately
E. are not always followed by large earthquakes

The key lies in this portion of the passage:

Quote:
while the historical record confirms
that most large earthquakes are preceded by minor
tremors, these foreshocks indicate nothing about
the magnitude of an impending quake and are
(25)
indistinguishable from other minor tremors that occur
without large earthquakes.

Most large earthquakes are preceded by minor tremors. Does that mean whenever we observe a minor tremor, we can predict that a large earthquake will occur? .... unfortunately not, because those minor tremors are indistinguishable from minor tremors that occur without large earthquakes. In other words, we have no idea whether a minor tremor will be followed by a large earthquake.

As for choice (C), the passage does not say that minor tremors are difficult to distinguish from major tremors. Regardless, unlike choice (E), this does not describe the problem with using precursory phenomena to predict earthquakes.

I hope that helps!
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Re: In 1971 researchers hoping to predict earthquakes in the short term by   [#permalink] 17 Aug 2017, 07:57

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