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New Method May Reliably Predict Earthquakes

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posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 05:48 AM
Scinetists at University of Stockholm have developed a new method using water chemistry as a predictor of earthquakes. The levels of certain metals found in the water underground, radically increases weeks before the event of an earthquake.

Lillemor Claesson, doctoral student at University of Stockholm: The chemistry of ice age water sampled from a 1.5-km-deep well on northern Iceland was monitored for 10 weeks before and 1 year after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake, which occurred on September 16, 2002. Chemical peaks for iron and chromium, manganese, zinc, and copper were detected 10, 5, 2 and 1 week(s) before the earthquake. Comparison with experimental studies indicates that these chemicals were dissolved from the surrounding rock, but at a higher temperature and therefore deeper in Earth's crust. Upward migration of this chemically fingerprinted water to our sampling station could have resulted from changes to the permeability of Earth's crust caused by the accumulation of energy before the earthquake. Water chemistry may therefore provide us with a tool which may help predict earthquakes. Shortly after the earthquake, we detected a rapid chemical shift for a range of elements and isotopes. We interpret these changes as indicative of the rapidity with which the permeability of a fault zone changes during an earthquake cycle, with one reservoir being sealed off while another is unsealed. (Geology & GSA Today, 29/7/2004)

Alasdair Skelton, Professor of Petrology and Geochemics at University of Stockholm: This may definetly be a reliable method of predicting earthquakes. We need more observations, though thus far all the evidence supports this method as being very reliable. (Dagens Nyheter, 4/8/2004).

Read more about the research here and here.

[edit on 4-8-2004 by Durden]


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