Constant watch on warping Earth

British researchers are now routinely mapping a great swathe of Earth's surface, looking for the subtle warping that ultimately leads to quakes.

The team is processing satellite images to show how rocks in a belt that stretches from Europe's Alps to China are slowly accumulating strain.

The new maps are being made available to help researchers produce more robust assessments of seismic hazard.

Dr Richard Walters, who is affiliated to the UK Centre for Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET), spoke with our correspondent Jonathan Amos.