Earthquakes can be predicted five days in advance

Earthquake Prediction

An international team of geologists and geophysicists found that in the face of an impending earthquake, the parameters of the internal gravitational waves, which oscillate in the stratified layers of the atmosphere, change five days before a seismic event.

This data can help experts develop short-term earthquake prediction methods, just as today with storms.

At present it is possible to predict seismic disasters ranging from tens of years to months - however, it is still impossible to determine the exact time of the event. More accurate and reliable short-term predictions are needed so that people can be evacuated from the seismic impact zone.

In search of this instrument, geologists have recorded several anomalies and manifestations of geophysical processes in seismically active regions. The list of earthquake precursors is constantly updated, and the more earthquake data, the more accurate a prediction.

Internal Gravity Waves

In search of new earthquake precursors, Vitalii Adushkin and his colleagues processed satellite data extracted from earthquakes that occurred in three seismically active regions: Uzbekistan on May 26, 2013; in Kyrgyzstan on January 8, 2007; and in Kazakhstan on January 28, 2013.

It happens that, five days before the seismic disaster, in the three cases the parameters of the internal gravity waves changed - internal wave is the fluctuation of air masses which, unlike sound waves, also has a transverse component, as occurs with longitudinal waves.

The data showed that the temperature of the intermediate atmosphere (the Earth's atmosphere layer that includes the stratosphere and the mesosphere) varies over time in a characteristic manner and that the wavelengths of the internal gravity waves were 14.2 km in length. stratosphere and 18.9 km in the mesosphere.

"This means that processes occur in the Earth's lithosphere, whose development generates convective instability in the lower atmosphere. They are the cause of internal gravity waves in seismically active regions. Internal gravity waves, when they reach the mesosphere, can be destroyed. When this happens, the energy of these waves turns into thermal motion, which affects temperature, "explains Sergey Popel of the Space Research Institute in Russia.

Most importantly for the development of an indicator, the researchers found that the wavelength begins to grow 4-5 days before the event, peaking two days before the earthquake, and then sharply decreasing the day before the earthquake. .

This data can now be used to identify internal gravity waves in seismically active regions and eventually to make short-term predictions of the timing of the onset of future seismic events.


Article: Variations of the Parameters of Internal Gravity Waves in the Atmosphere of Central Asia before Earthquakes

Author: Vitalii V. Adushkin, VI Nifadiev, BB Chen, SI Popel, GA kogai, A. Yu. Dubinskii, PG Weidler

Magazine: Doklady Earth Sciences

Vol .: 487, Issue 1, pp 841-845

DOI: 10.1134 / S1028334X19070201

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