Electronic precursors of earthquakes


Researchers from the Institute of the Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowave Propagation RAS have observed a chain of interconnected precursors of catastrophic earthquakes in the magnetosphere, geomagnetic field and the Earth’s ionosphere.

It is possible that the scientists could use the obtained results in algorithms for geophysical prediction of the time and place of a future earthquake.

They used data from ionosphere observations of the world’s earth-based network of ionosphere stations, which excludes seasonal and daily variations in the state of the ionosphere. It transpired that 10-15 hours prior to an earthquake there are irregularities that arise in the ionosphere – spikes of electronic density (up to 50% of the norm) of 1 to 3 kilometres in length that move horizontally at a rate comparable to the speed of sound. 15-17 hours prior to the underground tremor an electronic spike appears in the magnetosphere.

Physicists have proposed a mechanism over which such phenomena take place. Under the “preparation” of a serious earthquake in the Earth’s crust, micro-cracks appear in the region of the future rupture and here an enormous volume of energy is discharged into the atmosphere that exceeds the energy of even a nuclear explosion. A short time before the main tremor radon and other gases, containing elements of radioactive decay, are discharged into the atmosphere from the tectonic depths. The particles start to move in space, while the electromagnetic radiation promotes the penetration of charged particles into the ionosphere. This is where the observed electronic spikes come from.