Technology cont..



Earthquake Forecasting Can Become Reality


There is one physical process that can give us useful information for an impending earthquake, this results from stress-activation of electronic charge carriers deep within the Earth’s crust.  Though the build-up of pre-earthquake (pre-EQ) stresses occurs kilometres deep near the focal point of an oncoming earthquake, the consequences can be detected at the Earth’s surface in multiple ways, in the groundwater, at the ground surface and in the atmosphere above the affected area.  These pre-EQ signals allow us to recognize an impending earthquake anywhere from days to weeks in advance.

Introduction to the nature of charge carriers and where these pre-EQ signals originate.

All rocks have properties operating at the atomic level. For example, all rocks in Earth’s crust contain what is referred to as peroxy defects. Peroxy defects are pairs of oxygen anions that have changed their valence from the usual 2– to the unusual 1–.  Because peroxy defects are inconspicuous and difficult to detect, they have historically been overlooked by the scientific community. However, when rocks are subjected to increasing stress prior to an earthquake, these peroxy defects become activated and release electronic charge carriers known as positive holes.

Positive holes are electronic charge carriers like ‘defect electrons’ in transistors and everyday electronics, but in rocks they are associated with a single O– in a matrix of O2–. Once these positive holes are generated in the Earth’s crust due to pre-earthquake stress increase, they tend to rapidly migrate through the overlying rock. They migrate through the Earth’s crustal rock in a manner that resembles the flow of electrons through a semiconductor. They can move at speeds up to 200 meters per second and can travel long distances – tens to possibly hundreds of kilometres.  Once the positive holes arrive at the Earth’s surface, they produce multiple physical responses that are detectable.  These signals are indicators of the heightened risk for an earthquake. These signals are non-seismic, that is, they are not based on sound waves or motion due to the fracturing of rock but on the nature of the rock matrix experiencing increasing pressure. These signals may be fleeting and irregular, but there are many kinds of signals. If we know where to look and how to recognize them, they can provide clear indicators of stresses building up deep within the Earth, days and even weeks before a major earthquake.

Without going into specific details of how different pre-EQ signals are generated, suffice to say, all these signals are linked to the upward migration of positive hole charge carriers from regions of high stress through the Earth’s crust to the surface. The signals they produce at the surface of the Earth and above, all the way to the ionosphere are useful pre-EQ signals. They are listed here from large scale to regional to local scale.

(1)        Ionosphere anomalies are detectable typically 3-5 days before major earthquakes. The anomalies in the ionosphere consist of increases in the Total Electron Concentration (TEC) at the lower edge of the ionosphere, best measured at night when the effects of the solar radiation on the ionosphere are less. These anomalies are measurable by at least three techniques (i) using existing GPS technology to reconstruct tomographic images of the ionosphere over seismically active regions; (ii) using “over-the-horizon” FM radio wave transmission to detect changes in the morning or evening terminator times; and (iii) using long-distance AM radio waves reflected off the ionosphere over the seismically active region.

(2)        Thermal Infrared (TIR) anomalies consist of increases to (i) the radiative temperature of the ground and (ii) the radiative temperature at the top of the clouds, also known as Long Wavelength Infrared anomalies. TIR anomalies mark the impending earthquake’s epicentral region and become detectable typically 3-5 days before major earthquakes. They can be detected by various satellite-borne infrared cameras or hyperspectral infrared imagers.  Medium resolution detection is currently possible using MODIS data on the NASA satellites TERRA and AQUA. These can provide one data point during the day and one during the night per each 24-hour period. Detection is even possible using low resolution geostationary weather satellite data by determining the slope of night time cooling curves from IR images every 15 30 min.

(3)        Anomalous CO release from the ground is currently retrievable from the MOPPIT sensor on board the NASA TERRA satellite providing daily global data.

(4)        Increase in positive and negative air ion concentrations using networks of ground stations to measure air ionization, typically 100-200 km apart.

(5)        Changes in the total magnetic field intensity, x, y, z-components to be measured by ground stations typically less than 100 km apart.

(6)        Emission of ultralow frequency (ULF) electromagnetic (EM) waves from the ground. Both of these unipolar pulses typically last 100 msec to 1-2 sec. Continuous ULF wave trains last minutes to hours, and their x, y, z-components can be measured by ground stations preferentially about 50 km apart.

(7)        Regional changes in radio frequency noise at different frequencies from very low to medium low (VLF-LF).

(8)        Soil resistivity changes can be detected 1-2 m deep as measured by 4 point ground electrode systems, typically less than 100 km apart.

(9)        Radon emanation from the ground by stations, typically less than 100 km apart.

(10)      Changes in water chemistry at commercial natural spring water bottling companies or from ground water wells, typically less than 100 km apart.

(11)      Noticeable changes to the circadian rhythm studies being carried out 24/7 at universities, hospitals and zoos, using well-kept laboratory animals.

(12)      Hospital records with emphasis on increasing numbers of Emergency Room calls related to central nervous system disorders.


Earthquake forecast is different in as much as the underlying science, though developed to a high degree of certitude, is complicated. At play is a mechanic process initiated 10-100 km below the surface of the Earth that leads to electrical, electromagnetic and other processes at the Earth's surface, in bodies of water, in the atmosphere all the way up to the ionosphere. 

Working at the NASA Goddard Space and NASA Ames Research Centre, Dr. Friedemann Freund and his team determined the causal correlations between many precursors:

1. All igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks contain electrically inactive, dormant peroxy defects in the matrix of their constituent minerals.

2. When rocks are stressed, peroxy defects become activated, generating electrons and defect electrons, the latter known as positive holes.

3. Positive holes flow out of the stressed rock volume, spreading along stress gradients into and through the surrounding less stressed or unstressed rocks.

4. Positive holes propagate at initial speeds on the order of 100 m/s over distances of kilometres to tens of kilometres, probably even hundreds of kilometres.

5. As positive holes flow, they form electric currents generating magnetic fields.

6. If positive hole currents fluctuate, they generate electromagnetic (EM) waves, of which those in the ultralow frequency range can travel through the rock column.

7. ULF waves may occur in the form of single bursts, so-called unipolar pulses, or of wave trains that can last a few minutes to hours, sometimes days or even weeks.

8. When positive holes arrive at the ground-water interface, they oxidize H2O to H2O2, affecting groundwater chemistry.

9. When positive holes travel through the soil on their way to the surface, they oxidize organic matter generating CO and aid in the release of radon.

10. The positive holes also affect the electric field distribution across the ground-air interface, which can be assessed by tree potentials and ground potential sensors.

11. When positive holes arrive at the Earth’s surface, they will seek out topographic highs and accumulate at the ground-air interface.

12. At the ground-air interface positive holes recombine to return to the peroxy state.

13. Because the recombination is exothermal, excess energy is radiated off as IR photons, a process causally linked to the Thermal Infrared (TIR) anomalies.

14. When more positive holes arrive at the ground-air interface, electric (E) fields at the surface begin to field-ionize air molecules, producing positive airborne ions.

15. Positive airborne ions have a pronounced physiological effect and are implicated in pre-earthquake changes in animal behavior.

16. The air bubbles laden with positive airborne ions, rise to stratospheric heights.

17. The rising positive air ions polarize the ionospheric plasma, causing electrons to be pulled downward, causing measurable Total Electron Content (TEC) anomalies.

18. As the positive air ions continue to rise through the mesosphere, they organize into columnar cells, which arrive at the ionosphere at vertical speeds of 20-30 m/s, confirmed by Doppler broadening.

19. The cells of the rising ions cause a "bumpiness" of the E-field as recorded by satellites from above and by Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio scatter from below.

20. At the ground-air interface, increasing numbers of positive holes arriving from below cause corona discharges, leading to broad-band radio noise (in the 500 MHz range), the instant formation of ozone and of negative airborne ions. 

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