29th March 2011
One of the greatest things about the Internet is that as an individual you can have access to some of the latest research information. Years ago this type of information would only have been available to top scientists in their field.
NASA scientists have proposed a new theory on the cause of major Earthquakes. If the magnetosphere is hit by Solar flares and CME (Coronal Mass Ejections) from the Sun, of a great enough intensity, it can cause what they call a space quake. This is equivalent to a earth quake of 5 or 6 on the Richter scale.
The theory goes that the solar flare, or CME of sufficient magnitude strikes the Earth's Magnetosphere, this places pressure on the Earth's tectonic plates and can cause Earthquakes. The Magnetosphere is a naturally formed magnetic field around the Earth created by the Earth's iron core, it protects the Earth against Solar flares and CME radiation.
Here is an analogy. Imagine that the Earth is like a a boiled egg that you have dropped. When you pick it up the egg shell is broken into many pieces. If you gently squeeze that egg, the shell, representing the Earth's tectonic plates that make up the Earth's crust, will move against each other. So when the solar flare or CME hits the Earth's magnetosphere, it squeezes it, which in turn puts pressure on the Earth's crust.
Both the recent New Zealand and Japanese Earth Quakes in 2011 occurred during an X chase solar flare activity which also caused a geomagnetic storms in the earth's magnetosphere. During the Japanese quake it was reported that the Earth's magnetosphere was also hit by a CME at the same time the X class flare hit.
Here is a site where you can monitor solar flare activity in real time.
This site will allow you to monitor Earthquake activity around the world in real time.
If this theory is correct, this info is great because it will give an idea when something may happen, it just won't indicate accurately where or when.
New discoveries suggest where and when may be able to be predicted. One study has found that satellites have been recording variations in ULF or VLF radio signals (Ultra/Very Low Frequency) signals from where Earthquakes were about to occur. Also slight increases in earth crust levels can be an indicator. So these two satellite projects are exploring these indicators to see if they can give an early warning of where an Earthquake may occur.
Another study has found that major earthquakes usually occur where there are large quartz deposits in the rock formations on fault lines. There appears to be more water in quartz deposits which allows more slippage in the crust at those points. This would also explain why electrical disturbances can appear before an Earthquake. Lights in the sky or animals who use magnetic field information to navigate becoming confused or dying, plus domestic pets acting strange. Think of the old crystal quartz radios. Quartz and mineral crystals in bed rocks under a lot of pressure would generate an electrical signal giving an indication of an impending quake.
So there appears to be significant advancements in in Earthquake predicting technologies. Putting it all together as an accurate predictor may be some years away.
Update November 2016
These two people use slightly different methods for predicting earthquakes. One uses the Sun and the other crustal movement. Their predictive methods are made possible because they use the new publicly available sophisticate scientific Sun and earthquake monitoring services.
FireFox Earthquake alert add on
© Peter Daley 2011
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