The gravitational forces responsible for high tides may also play a role in triggering major earthquakes, a study suggests.
A Japanese research team found that large earthquakes are more likely to occur at times of a full or new Moon.
Tides arise from the effects of the gravitational interaction of the Moon and Sun on a rotating Earth.
This could put extra strain on geological faults that are already close to slipping, the team reports.
The researchers led by Satoshi Ide, from the University of Tokyo, have published their findings in the journal Nature Geoscience
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