Science Pacific earthquake: Are scientists underestimating 'superquakes'? (+video)

Pacific earthquake: An 8.0 Pacific earthquake hit about 1,000 miles northeast of Australia. Over the past half-century, three 9.0 or higher 'superquakes' have hit the Pacific's Ring of Fire, pushing scientists to rethink their models of earthquake formation.

By , Our Amazing Planet

Reed Saxon/AP

The 8.0 Pacific quake that hit the Solomon Islands tonight should be about most powerful earthquake possible, according to seismologists' theories of earthquake cycles. And the earthquakes that rocked Tohoku, Japan in 2011, Sumatra in 2004, and Chile in 1960 — all of magnitude 9.0 or greater — should not have happened. That might mean earthquake prediction needs an overhaul, some researchers say.