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Should the tag be synonymized to ?

Or, in other words - we know that all questions about earthquakes are also about seismology. Is it also true that all questions about seismology are about earthquakes? If so, then one of them should be synonym'd to the other, since one would want any question with one tag to also have the other.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would the synchronization be 2 way? I.e., would all [seismology] questions have [earthquakes] and all [earthquakes] have [seismology]? $\endgroup$ – Leo Uieda May 14 '14 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ @LeoUieda The way it works is that if the two tags are "synonymized", then one of them will be the "master" and the other the "synonym", so that you can tag a question with either the synonym or the master, but only the master will be displayed on the questions. If you search for questions tagged with la-nina, which is a synonym for the master tag [enso], you'll get correctly redirected to all the questions about ENSO. $\endgroup$ – senshin May 14 '14 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ @senshin so you're proposing searches for earthquakes should take you to seismology, is that right? $\endgroup$ – Leo Uieda May 14 '14 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ @LeoUieda That would be the practical impact, yes. $\endgroup$ – senshin May 14 '14 at 21:15
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I don't think that is a good idea. A question about earthquakes could be about more than seismology, for example rock mechanics, use of GPS (InSAR), tsunamis. Likewise, a question about tomography, seismic interferometry, or exploration seismology doesn't necessarily involve earthquakes.

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It is certainly not the case that all questions about seismology are also about earthquakes. The entire field of reflection seismology has very little to do with earthquakes, so I think it would be a bad idea to synonymize the tags.

As an example, here's a diagram of a marine seismic survey: clearly seismology, equally clearly not an earthquake:

enter image description here

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While they are not synonymous, it is very hard to ask a question about earthquakes that is not relevant to seismology.

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This is similar to the -> synonym idea, which had detractors because questions regarding the atmosphere can be conceived that are not strictly the domain of meteorology (I don't agree 100% on this, but it is one of the viewpoints).

I'm not familiar enough with seismology to evaluate the merits of this synonym proposal. The best way to actually go about this is to just propose the synonym. You can do this by visiting https://earthscience.stackexchange.com/tags/seismology/synonyms and proposing the synonym and letting the community vote on it. To propose/vote you'll need 1250 reputation and at least 5 upvotes in questions/answers with the seismology tag.

Tangential to this, I'll be making a different meta post to encourage the use of at least one discipline tag in every question. While these tags may not end up synonymized, there is nothing stopping questions from being (re)tagged with both tags where appropriate.

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I think the issue is not so much "do the two tags overlap perfectly?" but really "do we need both tags?". Is someone going to be interested in following the tag but not the tag? Is someone interested in but doesn't care about ?

Because in the end this is the purpose of tags: being able to find what interest you. Not labelling every small aspect of the site, just being able to single out your area of interest.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not a seismologist, but in my experience, those who use controlled-source seismology for geophysical exploration do not generally have much professional interest in earthquakes. This question on the SEG Y file format is an example: I don't think many people would think to look for it under "earthquakes". $\endgroup$ – Pont May 18 '14 at 7:30
  • $\begingroup$ That's a fair point. Just to point out the fact that my questions were not rhetorical: i just wanted to reorient the debate from "do they overlap" to "will people who care about on care about the other". And in my mind if they should be synonymized, 'seismology' should be the master word and not 'earthquakes'. $\endgroup$ – plannapus May 19 '14 at 6:52
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that we should focus on how and by whom these tags will actually be used. If the tags are merged, a search for "earthquakes" (redirecting to "seismology") will bring up a large proportion of material that has nothing at all to do with earthquakes. I think there are a lot of people who are interested in earthquakes but aren't interested in streamer deployment, sparkers vs. boomers, water-column profiling, etc. $\endgroup$ – Pont May 19 '14 at 7:40
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I'm one of those who thought meteorology and atmosphere shouldn't be merged. I'm of the same opinion here. I'll give some sample questions to illustrate:

  • How is seismology used to detect minerals?
  • How does seismology help predict volcanos?
  • What manmade facilities should be relocated because of earthquake risks?
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No, because seismology is the study of things that can include - but are not limited to earthquakes. (Volcanoes and tectonic plates can fall into this category)!

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