Is It Possible to Predict Strong Earthquakes?

Y. S. Polyakov, G. V. Ryabinin, A. B. Solovyeva, S. F. Timashev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The possibility of earthquake prediction is one of the key open questions in modern geophysics. We propose an approach based on the analysis of common short-term candidate precursors (2 weeks to 3 months prior to strong earthquake) with the subsequent processing of brain activity signals generated in specific types of rats (kept in laboratory settings) who reportedly sense an impending earthquake a few days prior to the event. We illustrate the identification of short-term precursors using the groundwater sodium-ion concentration data in the time frame from 2010 to 2014 (a major earthquake occurred on 28 February 2013) recorded at two different sites in the southeastern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. The candidate precursors are observed as synchronized peaks in the nonstationarity factors, introduced within the flicker-noise spectroscopy framework for signal processing, for the high-frequency component of both time series. These peaks correspond to the local reorganizations of the underlying geophysical system that are believed to precede strong earthquakes. The rodent brain activity signals are selected as potential “immediate” (up to 2 weeks) deterministic precursors because of the recent scientific reports confirming that rodents sense imminent earthquakes and the population-genetic model of Kirshvink (Soc Am 90, 312–323, 2000) showing how a reliable genetic seismic escape response system may have developed over the period of several hundred million years in certain animals. The use of brain activity signals, such as electroencephalograms, in contrast to conventional abnormal animal behavior observations, enables one to apply the standard “input-sensor-response” approach to determine what input signals trigger specific seismic escape brain activity responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1945-1957
Number of pages13
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Volume172
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 17 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Keywords

  • Abnormal animal behavior
  • Earthquake precursors
  • Earthquake prediction
  • Flicker-noise spectroscopy
  • Hydrogeochemical precursors
  • Nonstationarity factor

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