Can earthquakes be predicted?

Any particular sign or where you just taking a chance?

Yes, there was a sign, but until there’s a better track record I’ll just leave it at that.

There’s an article on earthquake prediction in today’s Taipei Times: … 2003211026

For those that are interested, have a look at this:

Earthquake clouds.

This chap has been spot on a good number of major earthquakes aroundthe world.

LMFAO!!! A few moments??? And what the hell difference would that make? Time to kiss our collective arse g’bye? :smiley:

LMFAO!!! A few moments??? And what the hell difference would that make? Time to kiss our collective arse g’bye? :smiley:[/quote]

Well, if coupled with a sound warning system, it would give us 10 seconds ot get under our tables, next to our beds, or into our doorways…

Might save a few people, and then it would certainly be worth it.

An early warning system could definitely give several seconds warning farther away from the epicenter. During the 9/21 earthquake I was awakened a good 3-4 seconds before the shaking started in Taipei because the electricity went out and turned off the AC. (I’m a very light sleeper.) There was enough time for the quake to knock down the electrical transmission lines in central Taiwan, cutting off the electricity supply in Taipei even before the ground waves made it there.

Here’s a recent news note that I tried to link to with no luck, so I’m posting the ariticle. Possible weeks of early notice. Then again, maybe not. The last sentence is a real gem.


Iceland bath may hold quake clue
Monday, December 6, 2004 Posted: 0418 GMT (1218 HKT)

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Reuters) – A tin bath on the cliffs of northern Iceland, where locals take a dip to treat skin complaints, could help scientists give an early warning of big earthquakes and save thousands of lives.
People from the town of Husavik have long used the piping hot water, pumped up from 1,500 meters (4,920 feet) below the earth’s surface, to treat diseases like psoriasis.
Scientists hope that measuring the changes in its chemical balance will provide a countdown to a quake, something thought impossible until now.
The theory is that pressure changes and movements along geological faults, such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge which cuts through Iceland, cause the chemical signature of water deep in the earth’s crust to change.
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake which struck the Tjornes Fracture Zone near Husavik, Iceland’s whale-watching capital, in September 2002 showed just such changes.
“There was a huge peak in the concentration of some chemicals in the water – some went up 1,000 percent before the earthquake,” said Lillemor Claesson from Stockholm University and the Nordic Volcanological Center in Reykjavik.
Until now scientists have been unable to warn people of earthquakes with any accuracy. They can give a broad picture – that a quake is likely over the next tens of years – or they can give warnings a few minutes ahead of one.
Evacuating those in danger has been impossible.
Claesson is cautious about claiming too much significance for the research, published this year in Geology, the journal of the Geological Society of America.
But if the kind of changes seen in the water in Iceland – one of the most geologically active countries in the world – prove widespread and occur at set intervals, they could help scientists make more accurate predictions of when a seismic event will happen.
“Ten weeks before the earthquake we had a really big peak in chromium, and iron. Then five weeks before manganese increases enormously. Two weeks before there was a peak in zinc and one week before there is a copper peak,” Claesson told Reuters while gathering new samples from the bore hole.
“The breakthrough is the time-frame. We have one to 10 weeks for the prediction … People could really benefit from this research.”
Shakin’ all over
Scientists and laymen have long tried to predict earthquakes – some of the most destructive natural forces on the planet.
“You can see different behavior in animals, weird stuff going on in space with the ionosphere and you can see changes in water levels in wells,” Claesson said.
“I look at the water-rock interaction and apply that to earthquake research.”
The water samples come from a bore hole on the cliffs above Husavik cooled from 125 degrees centigrade (257 degrees Fahrenheit) down to a comfortable 30 degrees for the bathers.
Claesson takes her samples before the water runs into the bath – which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean – to prevent them from being contaminated.
Data from the 2002 earthquake and laboratory experiments make the scientists confident that their theories will enable them to take practical steps in predicting earthquakes in the next few years.
“These are very real signals we observed before this earthquake … but like every other scientific experiment it must be repeated,” said Alasdair Skelton, professor of petrology and geochemistry at Stockholm University.
Not every scientist is as optimistic.
Although changes in ground water have been observed before and after earthquakes, they don’t “give you very useful information about magnitude, location and time,” said David Booth, senior seismologist at the British Geological Survey, who said he had not read Claesson’s research.
He says predicting earthquakes is like adding grains of sand to a pile – you know that there will be an avalanche at some time, but when and how big is impossible to predict without complete knowledge of the properties of the pile. No such picture of the earth is available.
He says “it will be hundreds of years” before accurate earthquake prediction is possible.
Claesson is hoping that data from more big earthquakes will prove her right, however.
With around 150 to 200 earthquakes a week in Iceland, that shouldn’t be too long.
“We know so much about the earth, but earthquakes are an enigma,” she said.
“We are just sitting here waiting. I would like to have a magnitude six or seven earthquake soon.”

I’m starting to see occasional signs that an earthquake may be coming. Anyone else?

Tell us more…

I’m going to take credit for predicting this morning’s quake. :slight_smile:

I did a story just last week about a cooperation agreement with some French institute thats going to drop hundreds more sensors on the seabed off the east coast, which they claim will greatly increase the accuracy of quake information and might even one day lead to some measure of prediction becoming possible.

So, far I’ve seen no documented evidence of any reliable earthquake prediction techniques.

The link someone provided with cloud maps seemed interesting, but overall was time consuming and not terribly straightforward, so I left it.

Living, as we do, on a very active protion of the pacific rim or anywhere with huge amounts of seismic activity fairly guarantees that a quake of some size will follow a ‘prediction’ of a large earthquake occuring ‘soon’.

Jlick and the guy with the pan blue bikes avatar have both indicated that they have some sort of method. Care to share? I think everyone is interested.

And, this isn’t the IP forum so no one will attack your arguments/theories.

Sorry guys, I already said in a previous post that I wasn’t going to reveal my methods yet. Let just see how often it works.

I predict that an earthquake will hit Taiwan. A big one. Very big one…

I seem to have a timing problem, but it wil happen, just wait and see.

Come, come, now. My predictions were both within a day or two of an actual noticable earthquake. Scientists are already pretty good at predicting quakes within a few decades, and you didn’t even nail it down that much.

No need.

You want to turn your wall clock into the most precise clock in the universe?

Simple, remove the batteries. that way it will show the exact time twice a day.

No need to go into details, when the earthquake comes, we will know.

Looks like another one is coming.

News reports say that elephants in Thailand bolted inland before the tsunamis hit. I guess they either heard the tidal waves coming, or detected the preceding earthquake, by infrasound. In that case, people could be warned of approaching tsunamis by installing infrasound detection systems in coastal areas.

Is it still on the way?


[date added by moderator to make jlick look siller :stuck_out_tongue: ]