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Earthquake forecasting

Sort of like tornado warnings.
  [vote for,

like a weather forecast, this would have to be probabilistic i.e. There may be about. a magnitude 2 earthquake in this district in the late afternoon. Sort of like tornado warnings.

So far earthquake prediction as been either
1 ) where destructive events have left there mark in the environment in a periodic fashion, then it is reasonable to predict similar levels of destruction and periodicity in the future.
2 ) the idea of earthquake storms, where one earthquake increases the stress at the next locked point along the same fault, increasing the probability that that will by the site of the next earthquake, and after that one the stress gets passed to the next locked point, and so on. This technique only works on some well mapped / characterised faults such as the North Anatolian fault
these two methods are only suitable for longer term planing, such as not moving to Istanbul Seattle or Vancouver.

Here is an idea that might bring earthquake prediction up to about the accuracy of a 1950's weather forecast

a) The earth is not getting bigger, or smaller, over time!
(most) Earthquakes might be expected to cause either an increase or decrees in the circumference of the earth along the great circle along which the earth moves.- so by tracking earthquakes globally and calculating there effects upon other faults on there grate circle it aught to be possible to extend the earthquake storm model to cover most earthquakes. Because there are thousands of earthquakes every day a picture of exactly where on the globe the stresses are changing will be quickly built up. This information by its self dose not provide the prediction has to when a particular fault will rupture, to get that information it would be necessary to run the model with 50 or so years worth of historical data. At first the model will be more useful for excluding earthquakes, because a particular earthquake fault had been under grater stress than this in the passed and did not rupture. going forward it will become increasingly good at predicting earthquakes, particularly in those areas that generate a lot of data.
b) Liberation. When the earth is struck by a large earthquake, it rings like a bell. Further earthquake are more likely whilst the earth is ringing / vibrating.
c) Although tidal forces are too small to cause an earthquake it is possible that they may play a part in triggering some earthquakes. This will become apparent as the model is run, if it is a real effect

The 90 east ridge and other similar poorly described seismic zones pose a problem, as it will not be clear if an there earthquake increases or decreases the stress along the appropriate grate circle Running the model with historical data should make it obvious which it is. I suspect that the 90 east ridge is a pressure ridge, smiler to those that form on sea ice.

I used the word (most) above because very shallow earthquakes need not necessarily be strongly linked to the underlying tectonic plates.

j paul, May 18 2012

Japan Earthquake gov website http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/
[not_morrison_rm, May 20 2012]

Esther Rantzen http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Esther_Rantzen
The Teeth Have It ... [8th of 7, May 20 2012]

Esters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ester
They often have pleasant, fruity odours. [8th of 7, May 20 2012]

No, dogs and cats CANNOT predict earthquakes http://www.johnmart...papers/00000072.htm
CONCLUSION This study shows that a significant positive correlation does not exist between the behavior of pets in the San Jose area and the occurrence of earthquakes within the same area over the three year period from January 1983 through December 1985. Based on this random disappearance of pets with respect to earthquakes,•no scheme seems possible to predict earthquakes using newspaper reports of missing pets. [UnaBubba, May 21 2012]

Scotts Mills Earthquake http://en.wikipedia...ts_Mills_earthquake
March 25, 1993 at 5:34 AM Pacific Standard Time [Klaatu, May 21 2012]


       The forecast warnings should originate from the local humane society or animal shelter. Dogs go ballistic an hour or so before an earthquake, even a small one.
Alterother, May 18 2012

       I'm not sure, but I think it's quite likely that would-be earthquake predictors have already looked at your (a) and (c) and failed to find any predictive value in them. As for (b), it's reasonable to assume that one quake might trigger quakes in other stressed areas, but I don't know how much predictive value that has (i.e., I'd expect any "triggered" earthquakes to happen very very soon after the "triggering" quake).   

       // Dogs go ballistic an hour or so before an earthquake// Yeah, but do they, really? I know there's a lot of mythology about this, but I doubt it. Bear in mind that there is a natural filter which makes you less likely to hear stories like "The funny thing is that Bozo gave us no warning at all before the quake that brought down our apartment block."   

       I think it's probably the case that some animals can detect small preshocks ahead of a major quake. But then again, these preshocks can be detected more reliably by seismometers, and have only limited predictive value.   

       As I think I pointed out in an annotation to another idea, dogs go ballistic for all kinds of reasons. Therefore, it is highly suspicious that dogs have _not_ warned us, ballistically, of some of the major earthquakes in the past. It may be a conspiracy.   

       There is probably also room to develop a true "ballistic dog earthquake warning device", whereby seismographs would detect preshocks. At some specified threshold, they would release multiple trebuchets, causing flocks of chihuahuahuas to arc gracefully over densely populated at-risk areas. Such an event would attract far more attention than a simple siren or a wireless broadcast.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 18 2012

       // dogs go ballistic for all kinds of reasons //   

       True. My dogs go bonkers just because it's fun on an hourly basis. But I've heard the semi-myth all of my Iife and recently had the chance to witness it, when we had a low-magnitude quake off the coast of Maine that hardly anyone felt. My dogs spent the whole morning being an entirely different kind of strange. They were also trying to hide underneath me for most of that time. I personally lend more credence to the old saw now.
Alterother, May 18 2012

       Well, as I said, I can believe that animals may notice vibrations caused by pre-shocks; I could even half believe that they detect some sort of static effect caused by compressing lots of quartz-bearing rocks in the buildup to a quake. However, both of these things can be (and probably are) monitored already in earthquake-infested regions; my guess is that their predictive power is too low or their false positive rate too high to be useful.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 18 2012

       Perhaps, then, it could be utilized as a sort of safeguard confirmation:   

       "Alright, let's have a look at those readouts."   

       "Well, as you can see, sir, there's been a significant build- up of activity for the last twenty-four hours."   

       "Hmm...these figures are quite alarming. What do the dogs say?"   

       "They're going completely out of their minds, sir."   

       "That seals it; broadcast the alert!"
Alterother, May 18 2012

       Namazu..."In Japanese mythology, the Namazu (鯰) or Ōnamazu (大鯰) is a giant catfish who causes earthquakes."   

       Probably came about as people saw the catfish getting jittery, then the quake came and mistaking cause and effect.   

       Anyway, don't need it over here, it's like buses, there'll be another along in a bit. In fact 20th of May 2012 there were 6 earthquakes, mostly teeny. I like the auto publishing feature and you can an almost instant magnitude and epicentre..see link
not_morrison_rm, May 20 2012

       // What do the dogs say? //   

       This is going to depend a lot on the breed ...   

       "So, what are the latest readings ?"   

       "Somewhat mixed, Sir. The Chihuahua is yapping hysterically, the chocolate Labrador is sitting down, wagging his tail and staring at everyone with an expression of benign bewilderment, the German Shepherd is patrolling the perimiter, the Yorkshire Terrier is attacking everything in sight including iteslf, and the Basset is asleep under the table. "   

       "Hmm ... all normal, then ?"   

       "Yes, Sir. But the collie has drawn THIRS GONIG TU BY ANE ERFKWAYK on the whiteboard, and while no-one was looking the Shih Tzu used the computer to buy an airline tickets using my credit card, and he's now quietly waiting at the kerb for the Limo he booked, along with his pile of Gucci and Louis Vuitton luggage."   

       "SOUND RED ALERT !"
8th of 7, May 20 2012

       //dogs// esthers released by tension/compression of subsurface rock ? Perhaps there's a pre-earthquake smell.
FlyingToaster, May 20 2012

       // esthers //   

       Like Esther Rantzen ?   


       You don't by any chance mean "esters", oxygen-linked hydrocarbons, do you ?   


       // Perhaps there's a pre-earthquake smell. //   

       There's definitely a post-earthquake smell from those who were extremely scared but couldn't make it to a bathroom...
8th of 7, May 20 2012

       hmm... guess I spell it like that to disambiguate from 'estuary". Whatever.   

       An odor wafting in the air, non-detectable by olfactorily challenged humans.   

       "Ah, there's silicon in the air today eh Rover?"   

       Or third-party: plant roots get a whiff and the plant releases something in response which dogs pick up on.
FlyingToaster, May 20 2012

       The dogs business is entirely confirmation bias.
tatterdemalion, May 20 2012

       As in like "There's going to be an earthquake in Italy sometime soon" ?   

       Never mind the fact that Italy sits on a notoriously active and unstable fault network. It's like the weather forecast for Salford; "Rain. More rain later".   

       Maybe he should get a job writing horoscopes for the National Enquirer.
8th of 7, May 20 2012

       With twitter/facebook/etc. if the dog thing were true, there should be multiple cases of "the dogs are acting funny" tweeted just before an earthquake occurred. Has anyone seen such? I am only aware of the same sort of after the fact reporting that has always been common, and is most likely confirmation bias (my cat galloping back and forth across the apartment is unusual, but common enough. If it happens just before an earthquake its likely to stick in my mind)
MechE, May 21 2012

       Maybe I am letting hindsight get the better of me, but my dogs were acting _really_ strange that day. More than just the full moon crazies.
Alterother, May 21 2012

       Maybe they were just reacting to your 14+ farts for the day, [Alter]. <link>
UnaBubba, May 21 2012

       That happens most days. Not to mention that my output is a drop in the ocean compared to theirs.
Alterother, May 21 2012

       On March 14, 1993 I sent an e-mail to the USGS and advised that an "earthquake will occur within 2 weeks". I received a tersely worded e-mail back that went on to explain that "earthquake prediction is impossible at this time".   

       11 days later, I sent them another e-mail stating that they were correct. I had predicted "within 2 weeks" and the Scotts Mills earthquake <link> had happened only 11 days since my original e-mail.   

       I don't send them e-mails anymore...I simply tape my cupboards closed and move the artwork to the floor.
Klaatu, May 21 2012

       Well, if you persisted in sending them emails just before every quake, eventually they'd pay attention.   

       Actually, there's probably money to be made here, even by us non-earthquake predictors. I feel a post coming on.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 21 2012


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