Have We Found an Earthquake Predictor?

Maybe.

from Technology Review: Data just released from a French satellite called DEMETER shows a very significant increase in ultra-low radio signals in the month leading up to the 7.0 earthquake which devastated Haiti.

But…

there may be other mechanisms that produce a similar signal but are not linked to quakes.

And ..

Then there is the problem of the timescale over which these emissions are produced. The increase in pressure that causes earthquakes occurs over geological timescales. It’s not yet clear how this process changes the emission of low frequency em waves.

That means the predictions from this kind of data may be never be any better than the ones geophysicists already make, ie giving the percentage likelihood of a big ‘un in the next 50 years, for example. That helps with things like building standards (in developed countries that can afford to implement them) but it is not much use in preventing the kind of catastrophe that hit Haiti in January.

Spacecraft Saw ULF Radio Emissions over Haiti before January Quake – Technology Review

Still, it’s a start. And about those “other processes” that can produce these emissions. Might be interesting to find out.

 

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