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Scientists seek foolproof way to predict earthquakes using magnetic waves

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Scientists seek foolproof way to predict earthquakes using magnetic waves

Posted on January 6, 2013 by The Extinction Protocol

January 6, 2013 CALIFORNIATwenty-three
hundred years ago, hordes of mice, snakes, and insects fled the Greek
city of Helike on the Gulf of Corinth (map). “After these creatures
departed, an earthquake occurred in the night,” wrote the ancient Roman
writer Claudius Aelianus. “The city subsided; an immense wave flooded
and Helike disappeared.” Since then, generations of scientists and
folklorists have used a dizzying array of methods to attempt to predict
earthquakes. Animal behavior, changes in the weather and seismograms
have all fallen short. One theory is that when an earthquake looms, the
rock “goes through a strange change,” producing intense electrical
currents, says Tom Bleier, a satellite engineer with QuakeFinder, a
project funded by his parent company, Stellar Solutions, of Cambridge,
Massachusetts. “These currents are huge,” Bleier said at the AGU
meeting. “They’re on the order of 100,000 amperes for a magnitude 6
earthquake and a million amperes for a magnitude 7. It’s almost like
lightning, underground.” To measure those currents, Bleier’s team has
spent millions of dollars putting out magnetometers along fault lines in
California, Peru, Taiwan, and Greece. The instruments are sensitive
enough to detect magnetic pulses from electrical discharges up to 10
miles (16 kilometers) away. “In a typical day along the San Andreas
fault (in California), you might see ten pulses per day,” he told National Geographic News.
“The fault is always moving, grinding, snapping, and crackling.” Before
a large earthquake, that background level of static-electricity
discharges should rise sharply, Bleier said. And that is indeed what he
claims he’s seen prior to the half dozen magnitude 5 and 6 earthquakes
whose precursors he’s been able to monitor. “It goes up to maybe 150 or
200 pulses a day,” he said. 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. “That’s the pattern we’re
looking for,” he said. –NG

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