Is there a way to predict earthquakes?
May 21, 2011
A team of NASA and Russian space and physical scientists, in the days before the March 11 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, said the atmosphere directly above the epicenter rapidly heated up possibly providing a way to predict earthquakes in the future. [CaliforniaWatch]
Beginning on March 3, the electron count in the ionosphere – the upper part of the atmosphere – increased dramatically reaching a peak three days before the 8.9-magnitude earthquake, according to a presentation delivered in Vienna.
“Our first results show that on March 8th a rapid increase of emitted infrared radiation was observed from the satellite data,” said Dimitar Ouzounov to California Watch.
Ouzounov and others believe movements and stress in the earth can set off a complex series of detectable physical and chemical changes in the atmosphere and ionosphere.
He said gases such as radon, carbon dioxide and hydrogen escape from the earth’s crust as the earth begins to move under the stress. The gases escape into the atmosphere and climb into the ionosphere. It’s in these upper areas that the gases ionize and begin to create heat.
And using satellite data and atmospheric monitors, researchers can see these changes as they happen providing a possible warning system.
Indeed, Ouzounov’s team has looked at 24 significant earthquakes in Japan, of a magnitude of 7 or greater, and all showed the telltale signs in the days before the quakes occurred.
That data will be released later this year, he added.