Scientists record changes in the magnetic field before earthquakes

(ORDO NEWS) — Local magnetic fields clearly change 2-3 days before large and medium earthquakes in the San Andreas fault, which makes it possible to warn them and thereby save a huge number of lives.

Weak but significant changes in the magnetic field were detected a few days before the California earthquakes.

If the study survives further testing, it could lead to warnings that could significantly reduce the death toll.

The researchers who discovered the signal admit that it is currently not clear enough to accommodate these warnings, but that may soon change.

Recently, hurricanes have become more destructive, and many more people are on their way, but the number of deaths is sharply reduced, as weather satellites help predict such cataclysms.

Can we do the same with earthquakes? Seismologists have already made many efforts to try to do this, but so far without success.

Dan Schneider of QuakeFinder thinks things could change soon. Schneider et al report observations of magnetic fields at 125 sensor stations located along major fault lines in California.

Between 2005 and 2019, 18 earthquakes of magnitude 4.5 or more occurred in the area. The authors tried to detect changes before each earthquake. This is not an easy task, because many other factors, such as solar storms, can affect the sensors.

Although the authors of the study found distinctive patterns, they emphasize that they are not yet enough to confirm the feasibility of evacuation.

“The statistical signal is of modest size, which means that we cannot directly provide a forecast that can be used to alert the public,” the document says.

“This study suggests that physical changes can be observed in the days leading up to an earthquake, but further scientific research is needed to understand this process.”

Tales of animals (or even humans) that could sense earthquakes before they happened are thousands of years old.

Scientists have tried to study this question carefully, but interpreting the behavior of the subject is an obstacle if he cannot speak.

However, if these reports are correct, some physical change must be detected. The presence of magnetic fields are a plausible explanation.

Even if the signal is real, many questions that affect how useful it can be remain unanswered.

For example, do other fault lines show the same pattern, or at least a different one that we can identify, before earthquakes?

To obtain predictions , the authors intend to continue to expand the sample size and take into account more complex factors.

However, they also note that we do not currently understand the mechanism that links magnetic signals to subsequent events.

If the physical connection can be explained, this may open the way for better signal interpretation in the future.

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