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BGU Finds A Better Way to Predict Earthquakes

BGU Finds A Better Way to Predict Earthquakes

March 12, 2018

Natural Sciences

The Jerusalem Post – BGU, in collaboration with Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, suggests that measuring electromagnetic radiation is the best way to detect deadly earthquakes hours or even days in advance.

Prof. (emeritus) Avinoam Rabinovitz, of BGU’s Physics Department, Prof. (emeritus) Dov Bahat, of the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and Dr. Vladimir Fried, of Shamoon College’s Department of Structural Engineering, says that a lot of money has been wasted in measuring seismic (acoustic) radiation to predict deadly earthquakes.

The study – which has just been published in the Cambridge University journal Geological Magazine – proved that future earthquakes cannot be predicted by seismic radiation. This is because this type of radiation is absorbed by the Earth’s rock. As a result, it’s impossible to detect at a distance of several kilometers from the center of the quake. Although the radiation frequency is reduced and measured, it happens too late to warn against the catastrophe.

“The innovative seismic warning systems, such as those currently installed in Israel, relate to the treatment of an earthquake when it actually occurs and only serve as a kind of [late] alarm, similar to an alarm that warns of a missile that has already been launched.”

Electromagnetic radiation, emitted by earthquakes at high frequencies in their early nucleation stages, is absorbed much less in the rock and can, therefore, be measured, making it an effective way to predict future earthquakes.

Prof. Rabinovitz suggests filtering electromagnetic radiation to remove external noise. “Such action would help the world in preventing damage caused by a lack of early warning against earthquakes.”

Read more on The Jerusalem Post website >>