|
|
|
|
|
6th Zulqada 1435 | Monday, Sep 01, 2014
Science

Static electricity may hold key to predicting earthquakes

Monday, 7 January 2013
Comments(0)
London, January 07:

Scientists claim that a rise in static electricity below the ground could be a reliable indicator that an earthquake is imminent.

This way they can predict earthquakes before they happen and potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Tom Bleier, a satellite engineer with QuakeFinder, has spent millions of dollars putting specialist measuring equipment- magnetometers - along fault lines in California, Peru, Taiwan, and Greece, the Daily Mail reported.

The instruments are sensitive enough to detect magnetic pulses from electrical discharges up to 10 miles (16 kilometers) away, which could give people enough time to get to safety before a quake strikes.

Scientists’ theory is that, when an earthquake looms, activity below ground goes through a “strange change,” producing intense electrical currents.

“These currents are huge,” Bleier said at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.

He said that they’re on the order of 100,000 amperes for a magnitude 6 earthquake and a million amperes for a magnitude 7, which is almost like lightning, underground.

Before a large earthquake, that background level of static-electricity discharges should rise sharply, Bleier said.

And that is what he claims he’s seen prior to the half dozen magnitude 5 and 6 earthquakes whose precursors he’s been able to monitor.

The number of pulses, he added, seems to surge about two weeks before the earthquake then drop back to background level until shortly before the fault slips.

There are hitches to the project, though - magnetic pulses could be caused by a lot of other things, ranging from random events within the Earth to lightning, solar flares, and electrical interference from highway equipment.

Charged particles - or ions - from deep below the earth migrate to the surface and impair the accuracy of the equipment, so special ion sensors have been added to the equipment.

The ion count can also be magnified by wet weather, so humidity sensors have also been added to rule out the possibility of false alarms.

His team hasn’t yet monitored enough large earthquakes for him to be sure that what he’s found is valid for all quakes.

ANI

Latest News

Ebola: Six 'high risk' passenger...

Six people deemed "high risk" Ebola suspects were today admitted to a quarantine facility at Delhi airport, health ministry said on Monday. ...

Sonia, Congress leaders attack Modi over p...

Sonia Gandhi on Monday led the Congress attack against Narendra Modi government and flagged the issue of price rise as her party slammed bot ...

Heavy showers in Mumbai; MeT predicts more...

With heavy rains lashing the city for second consecutive day today, the MeT department has predicted that the monsoon is likely to get stron ...

Related News

4000-year-old Stonehenge mystery solved!

The 4000-year-old mystery about how the Stonehenge was built has been solved. The mystery has bee ...

Cartilage from patient's nose can repair knee

In a breakthrough, scientists have harvested cartilage cells from patients' own noses to grow replac ...

Know how to eliminate wine spoiling bacteria?

Wine makers have reasons to cheer as researchers have discovered a system that prevents "stuck ferme ...

Post new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Copy the characters (respecting upper/lower case) from the image.

Rs. 27620 (Per 10g)

Opinion Poll
Do you think KCR would continue celebrating all national events at Golconda Fort beginning from Independence Day?
YesNoCan't say

Matrimony | Photos | Videos | Search | Polls | Archives | Advertise | Letters

© The Siasat Daily, 2012. All rights reserved.
Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Abids, Hyderabad - 500001, AP, India
Tel: +91-40-24744180, Fax: +91-40-24603188
contact@siasat.com