Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Earthquake presages – A comprehensive approach

25.09.2006
Investigating earthquake presages not taken separately but comprehensively is enabled by the Russian-Japanese geophysical observatory, its establishment in Kamchatka being sponsored by the International Science and Technology Center.

By its capabilities, the observatory has no equal either in Russia or abroad. Being actually “stuffed” with state of the art equipment including custom designed facilities, the observatory gives the researchers a unique opportunity to simultaneously carry out seismic, electromagnetic, acoustic, hydrogeochemical and ionospheric observations.

The researchers have been looking for a location for the observatory for quite a long time. In Japan, for example, there is no place to establish it – the level of man-caused noises – both electromagnetic and acoustic – is too high. A quiet place was found in the forest, 60 kilometers from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, in the valley of the small Karimshina River, far from large settlements and transmission facilities. Here, natural and industrial interference turned out to be minimal.

Although the scientists are rather cautious in evaluation of the work outcome, it is clear already that the researchers have managed to reveal a number of pretty interesting regularities. For example, they have noticed that by measuring the variable magnetic field gradient it is possible to learn about the earthquake when it is only imminent!

The field oscillation measurements in the 0.003-3 Hz range allow to discover coseismal (1 minute around time of seismic wave arrival), near seismic (3 hours before the earthquake) and pre-seismic (several days prior to the earthquake) electromagnetism. And the most important thing: the researchers have ascertained that several (2-6) days prior to a powerful and isolated earthquake, the elecromagnetic field intensity decreases in this range.

This finding was obtained having analyzed the data of the 13-month regular observations in Karimshin, during which 20 rather intense and close earthquakes took place. So, the researchers have chosen a good place for the observatory – there are sufficient shakes to apply both statistical analysis and individual case analysis. In the long run, hopefully, the researchers will find out how to learn about impending earthquake in advance. The forewarned is forearmed. Indeed, knowledge is power.

“The observatory consists of five individual measuring systems for observation, - says Alexander Lutikov, one of the project participants, chief research officer of the Geophysical Service and Institute of Physics of the Earth (Russian Academy of Sciences). - First of all, there is equipment for seismic, variable geomagnetic field and acoustic emission recording. In fact, in order to “listen” to the sounds of the Earth, particularly when microfissures are being formed, and not to be deceived, for example, by man-caused noises or sound of the wind, a special well (30 meters deep) was drilled for acoustic sensors. In the same location, temperature and soil waters composition is constantly measured at different depths in other wells. However, analysis of obtained samples is still carried out not at the observatory but at a special laboratory in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Although, in the future this should probably be performed “on the spot”, ideally – in the on-line mode.

Secondly, there is a measuring system for the so-called telluric currents, roughly speaking, electric currents in the earth’s crust surface layer. And, finally, there are systems for measuring meteorological factors and characteristics of radio signals from navigation transmitters.

The point is that the major part of measurements has so far been carried out and continues to be carried out at thousands of stations all over the world. However, this is the scattered data. Now, (and this is exceptionally important) all this data is for the first time comprehesively and simultaneously at the researchers’ disposal. That allows to investigate much fuller the processes preceding earthquakes and certainly the ones taking place during the earthquakes.”

To extend opportunities for investigations, two more stations were built to supplement the observatory, the stations being located at the distance of 5 and 60 kilometers from the observatory. They were mainly required to measure magnetic field pulsation. Identical inductive magnetometers were placed at each of these stations and at the observatory. These uniquely precise and sensitive devices designed by the Russian specialists participating in the project have no analogues in terms of characteristics. Observations carried out at three stations at once allow not only to measure geomagnetic fields much more precisely, but also to separate the changes caused by seismic activity from the background ones.

Since it is impossible to process manually such enormous data array, the researchers have developed special software for combined analysis of seismic, electromagnetic and acoustic signals as well as hydrochemical and meteorological parameters. They have also developed software for statistical analysis of signals and for distribution functions computation. The researchers even used special filtration programs to detect very weak signals.

Specialists of several entities were involved in the establishment of the observatory and now they conduct investigations actively. On the Russian part, these are the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Physics of the Earth (Russian Academy of Sciences). The Japanese participants to the project include specialists of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), University of Electrocommunications and the Tokay (not to be confused with the Tokyo) University.

Nadezda Markina | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica
05.12.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht GPM sees deadly tornadic storms moving through US Southeast
01.12.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>