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Thread: Do "earthquake lights" appear right before a major strike?

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    Exclamation Do "earthquake lights" appear right before a major strike?

    Is there such a thing as "earthquake lights" appearing right before a major earthquake? It appears so, and here are the most recent papers on this odd event. First paper has photos of earthquake lights.


    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep44774

    Causal mechanisms of seismo-EM phenomena during the 1965-1967 Matsushiro earthquake swarm

    Enomoto, Yuji; Yamabe, Tsuneaki; Okumura, Nobuo (03/2017)

    [[ENTIRE PAPER WITH PHOTOS!]] The 1965-1967 Matsushiro earthquake swarm in central Japan exhibited two unique characteristics. The first was a hydro-mechanical crust rupture resulting from degassing, volume expansion of CO2/water, and a crack opening within the critically stressed crust under a strike-slip stress. The other was, despite the lower total seismic energy, the occurrence of complex seismo-electromagnetic (seismo-EM) phenomena of the geomagnetic intensity increase, unusual earthquake lights (EQLs) and atmospheric electric field (AEF) variations. Although the basic rupture process of this swarm of earthquakes is reasonably understood in terms of hydro-mechanical crust rupture, the associated seismo-EM processes remain largely unexplained. Here, we describe a series of seismo-EM mechanisms involved in the hydro-mechanical rupture process, as observed by coupling the electric interaction of rock rupture with CO2 gas and the dielectric-barrier discharge of the modelled fields in laboratory experiments. We found that CO2 gases passing through the newly created fracture surface of the rock were electrified to generate pressure-impressed current/electric dipoles, which could induce a magnetic field following Biot-Savart's law, decrease the atmospheric electric field and generate dielectric-barrier discharge lightning affected by the coupling effect between the seismic and meteorological activities.

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    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016AGUFMAE31A..08J

    Earthquake lights: Mechanism of energetic coupling of Earth's crust to the lower atmosphere

    Jansky, J.; Pasko, V. P. (12/2016)

    Earthquake lights (EQLs) are an atmospheric luminous phenomenon occurring during strong earthquakes and lasting from a fraction of a second to a few minutes [e.g., Theriault et al., Seismol. Res. Lett., 85, 159, 2014]. In accordance with eyewitness reports [Heraud and Lira, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 1025, 2011] one of the types of the EQLs exhibits similarities with the blue glow observed in St. Elmo's fire (corona) occurring during thunderstorms. Laboratory experiments [Freund et al., Phys. Chem. Earth, 31, 389, 2006] demonstrate that rocks subjected to stress force can generate electric currents. During earthquakes these currents can deliver significant amounts of net positive charge to the ground-air interface leading to enhancements in the electric field and corona discharges around tall ground objects [Freund et al., JASTP, 71, 1824, 2009]. It has been suggested recently that the same type of currents can map upward to the ionosphere triggering variations in the total electron content [Kuo et al., JGR, 119, 3189, 2014]. The recently developed global electric circuit (GEC) model [Jansky and Pasko, JGR, 119, 10184, 2014] features finite conductivity of the earth and allows quantitative investigations of the effects of source currents of various configurations placed inside the earth. We have also developed and tested approximate formulation allowing effective solution of the same problems using analytical theory. In the present work the source current is assumed to be a dipole and it is shown that a large scale dipole located at 5 and 15 km below earth's surface requires energy significantly exceeding that available even in major earthquakes. We will present numerical and analytical results providing the most physical scenario allowing to explain experimentally observed features of EQLs. In particular, the most likely setup is found to be when the upper pole of the source current dipole is shifted close to the earth's surface.

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    One of many recent papers on the 2018 Chinese CSES spacecraft mission, in part to detect "earthquake lights" and similar phenomena just before major earthquakes strike.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2018cosp...42E2663P

    Overview of the CSES (China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite) mission

    Picozza, Piergiorgio (07/2018)

    CSES (China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite) is a mission in collaboration between CNSA (Chinese National Space Administration) and ASI (Italian Space Agency). Realized by CEA (China Earthquake Administration) together with several Chinese Institutions and INFN (Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics) in cooperation with IFAC-CNR, INAF (Italian National Institute of Astrophysics), INGV (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology) and other Italian institutions, it is in orbit since February 2nd 2018. The main objectives are the investigation of the near-Earth electromagnetic, plasma and particle environment and the study of the seismo-associated disturbances in the ionosphere-magnetosphere transition zone, the anthropogenic electromagnetic noise as well as the natural non-seismic electromagnetic emissions, mainly due to tropospheric activity. In particular, the mission aims at confirming the existence of possible temporal correlations between the occurrence of earthquakes of medium and strong magnitude and the observation in space of electromagnetic perturbations, plasma variations and precipitation of bursts of high-energy charged particles from the inner Van Allen belt. On board of the CSES satellite, orbiting Sun-synchronous at about 500 km of altitude with an inclination of 97.4°, there are installed two Particle Detectors, a Search Coil Magnetometer, a High-Precision Magnetometer, an Electric Field Detector, a Plasma Analyzer, two Langmuir probes, a GNSS Occultation Receiver and a Tri-Band Beacon. The multi-instrument payload allows, by measuring simultaneously several different parameters, a more reliable identification of the signature of the studied phenomena. The in-flight performance of the scientific payload and some preliminary results will be presented at the conference.

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    https://meetingorganizer.copernicus....2018-17007.pdf

    Assessment of ULF geomagnetic precursor for short-term earthquake forecast

    Hattori, Katsumi; Han, Peng; Zhuang, Jiancang (04/2018)

    There are many reports on earthquake precursors recently. Among of them, ULF magnetic anomaly is one of the most promising phenomena. Previous statistical studies showed that there were correlations between seismo-electromagnetic phenomena and sizeable earthquakes in Japan. In this paper, utilizing Molchan's error diagram, we evaluate whether these phenomena contain precursory information and discuss how they can be used in short-term forecasting of large earthquake events. In practice, for given series of precursory signals and related earthquake events, each prediction strategy is characterized by the leading time of alarms, the length of alarm window, the alarm radius (area) and magnitude. The leading time is the time length between a detected anomaly and its following alarm, and the alarm window is the duration that an alarm lasts. The alarm radius and magnitude are maximum predictable distance and minimum predictable magnitude of earthquake events, respectively. We introduce the modified probability gain (PG') and the probability difference (D') to quantify the forecasting performance and to explore the optimal prediction parameters for a given electromagnetic observation. The results show that the earthquake predictions based on electromagnetic anomalies are significantly better than random guesses, indicating the data contain potential useful precursory information. Meanwhile, we reveal the optimal prediction parameters for both observations. The methodology proposed in this study could be also applied to other pre-earthquake phenomena to find out whether there is precursory information, and then on this base explore the optimal alarm parameters in practical short-term forecast.

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    It seems to be that to be effective, a constellation of such spacecraft would have to cover the earth's surface to get the proper lead time for warning of a significant earthquake.
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    I don't mean to seem obtuse, but which figures in the first paper are the photos you refer to? I can't tell by the descriptions for each link.

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    My apologies: first link, at top, has photos.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

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    Possibly related to earthquake lights?


    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1014142703.htm

    Fast, accurate estimation of the Earth's magnetic field for natural disaster detection
    Deep neural networks to detect magnetic field anomalies for faster warnings before earthquakes and tsunamis

    Date: October 14, 2018; Source: Tokyo Metropolitan University

    Summary: Researchers have applied machine-learning techniques to achieve fast, accurate estimates of local geomagnetic fields using data taken at multiple observation points, potentially allowing detection of changes caused by earthquakes and tsunamis. A deep neural network (DNN) model was developed and trained using existing data; the result is a fast, efficient method for estimating magnetic fields for unprecedentedly early detection of natural disasters. This is vital for developing effective warning systems that might help reduce casualties and widespread damage.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Is there such a thing as "earthquake lights" appearing right before a major earthquake? It appears so, and here are the most recent papers on this odd event. First paper has photos of earthquake lights.
    I haven't read the papers, just the abstracts you quote, but I don't see any support for the phenomena appearing before an earthquake. The last abstract even says "The methodology proposed in this study could be also applied to other pre-earthquake phenomena to find out whether there is precursory information, and then on this base explore the optimal alarm parameters in practical short-term forecast." So, it doesn't even seem to include precursory information, no?

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    Quotes from article: It is known that earthquakes and tsunamis are accompanied by localized changes in the geomagnetic field. For earthquakes, it is primarily what is known as a piezo-magnetic effect, where the release of a massive amount of accumulated stress along a fault causes local changes in geomagnetic field; for tsunamis, it is the sudden, vast movement of the sea that causes variations in atmospheric pressure. This in turn affects the ionosphere, subsequently changing the geomagnetic field. Both can be detected by a network of observation points at various locations. The major benefit of such an approach is speed; remembering that electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light, we can instantaneously detect the incidence of an event by observing changes in geomagnetic field.

    However, how can we tell whether the detected field is anomalous or not? The geomagnetic field at various locations is a fluctuating signal; the entire method is predicated on knowing what the "normal" field at a location is.

    Thus, Yuta Katori and Assoc. Prof. Kan Okubo from Tokyo Metropolitan University set out to develop a method to take measurements at multiple locations around Japan and create an estimate of the geomagnetic field at different, specific observation points. Specifically, they applied a state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithm known as a Deep Neural Network (DNN), modeled on how neurons are connected inside the human brain. By feeding the algorithm a vast amount of input taken from historical measurements, they let the algorithm create and optimize an extremely complex, multi-layered set of operations that most effectively maps the data to what was actually measured. Using half a million data points taken over 2015, they were able to create a network that can estimate the magnetic field at the observation point with unprecedented accuracy.

    Given the relatively low computational cost of DNNs, the system may potentially be paired with a network of high sensitivity detectors to achieve lightning-fast detection of earthquakes and tsunamis, delivering an effective warning system that can minimize damage and save lives.

    MY COMMENTS: I do recall reading that "earthquake lights" were thought by some to be a piezoelectric result, usually from quartz under compression.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
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    I'm all for rapid detection, but my point was that none of the articles seem to support the premise of the thread title, 'Do "earthquake lights" appear right before a major strike?'

    I can see the advantage to having even milliseconds of advance warning of an impending earthquake wave arrival (to shut down power grids, or quickly secure unstabile structures) but the holy grail is earthquake prediction not rapid warning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    I can see the advantage to having even milliseconds of advance warning of an impending earthquake wave arrival (to shut down power grids, or quickly secure unstabile structures) but the holy grail is earthquake prediction not rapid warning.
    Sure, I completely understand. In Japan we get warnings on our smartphones a few seconds before a big quake strikes—it’s a bit eerie because suddenly lots of smartphones start beeping and everybody kinds of looks around and stops what they’re doing. But actually predicting in advance when one will happen is really hard, because it’s a bit like trying to figure out when and where a ruler will break as you bend it. There could be warnings because of friction between the plates, but it’s still hard to say exactly when it will pop.


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    Oh yeah, the warnings come because there is a precursor to the shaking, I think they’re called p waves.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Oh yeah, the warnings come because there is a precursor to the shaking, I think they’re called p waves.


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    Yes. P waves travel faster than other types of seismic waves, particularly faster than the surface waves which cause much of the shaking and damage from an earthquake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    My apologies: first link, at top, has photos.
    At least one of those reminds me of exploding power transformers, though I may be mistaken. I have always wondered about "earth lights"

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    Found an older article (2014) on earthquake lights from National Geographic. Could not access the entire article, but perhaps someone else can.

    ===============

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/...ology-science/

    Bizarre Earthquake Lights Finally Explained
    Rare lights seen near earthquakes had long been called UFOs.

    By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic; PUBLISHED January 7, 2014

    ==========

    https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/ssa...dFrom=fulltext

    Prevalence of Earthquake Lights Associated with Rift Environments

    Robert Thériault France St‐Laurent Friedemann T. Freund John S. Derr | Research Article|January 01, 2014
    Seismological Research Letters (2014) 85 (1): 159-178.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Found an older article (2014) on earthquake lights from National Geographic. Could not access the entire article, but perhaps someone else can.

    ===============

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/...ology-science/

    Bizarre Earthquake Lights Finally Explained
    Rare lights seen near earthquakes had long been called UFOs.

    By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic; PUBLISHED January 7, 2014

    ==========
    Weird. The title is "Bizarre Earthquake Lights Finally Explained'" but the last line is "He also wants to better understand what causes the outburst of energy that leads to visible light."

    They claim earthquake lights can appear hours before an earthquake (even 11 days before, in one example), but then, in the "explanation" they mention "When a seismic wave hits, electrical charges in the rocks may be released." That doesn't make sense.

    https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/ssa...dFrom=fulltext

    Prevalence of Earthquake Lights Associated with Rift Environments

    Robert Thériault France St‐Laurent Friedemann T. Freund John S. Derr | Research Article|January 01, 2014
    Seismological Research Letters (2014) 85 (1): 159-178.

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