AI will allow predicting earthquakes in a few days

(ORDO NEWS) — The machine learning model was able to recognize the signs of an approaching earthquake from the weak changes in the magnetic field associated with the accumulation of energy at great depths.

Earthquakes often seem completely sudden, although the underlying energy builds up gradually, long before it is discharged in powerful shocks.

Geologists are looking for ways to spot threats early and take action to save people and infrastructure. Monitoring of local magnetic fields can become one of such tools.

Indeed, pressure increases at depth can change the properties of underground masses, including electrical conductivity, and currents can occur in the accumulated gases.

Such processes should also be reflected in the characteristics of the magnetic field, which is generated in the very center of the Earth and is recorded near the surface.

Evidence of this existed before, but it has not yet been possible to reliably confirm this hypothesis. It was possible to notice changes in the magnetic field only now, with the help of artificial intelligence.

The study was conducted by scientists from the non-profit science foundation QuakeFinder in conjunction with Stellar Solutions and the Google Accelerated Science team.

They used seismic monitoring and magnetic field observations associated with earthquakes that occurred in California in 2005-2019 and reached a magnitude of at least 4.5.

Information received from 125 magnetometers located throughout the state. It is extremely noisy, because weak anomalies of the magnetic field can be caused by both solar activity and even road traffic.

However, the machine learning model was able to pick out the signal even against this noisy background.

After testing it on a test sample, the scientists were convinced that AI is able to consider the signs of an approaching earthquake according to magnetometers.

“We do not claim that such a signal exists before any earthquake,” the authors of the work emphasize.

Nevertheless, the new approach could be a valuable tool for predicting the approach of a threat in advance. In some cases, he may notice signs of an earthquake as early as 24-72 hours before the first aftershocks.


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