The underground electrical fields have been experiencing quite the phenomenon lately, and seismologists are well aware. Apparently, a strange electromagnetic blast is strong enough to awake an earthquake, and sometimes it happens a few weeks before the actual quake.
Using these bursts to predict an earthquake might be helpful. Seismologists, however, try now to figure the anomaly.
Here is what you need to know.
The Anomaly Could Reveal Important Data
New research comes in help and indicates that the answer is in the gases that get caught in something called a “fault valve.”
That can appear ahead of a quake, causing the impermeable layers of rock to slide across a fault, creating something similar to a gate that obstructs the flow of underground water.
An excerpt of the new paper reads:
“[…] that coupled interaction of fracturing rock with deep Earth gases during quasi-static rupture of rocks in the focal zone of a fault might play an important role in the generation of pre- and co-seismic electromagnetic phenomena.”
Investigating the case
The researchers used a customized lab setup and tested the reactions of basalt, quartz diorite, and fine-grained granite under quite the scenario: quake-like simulation.
The findings show that the electrified gas current could really be to blame for rock fractures. But that’s not all.
It also depends on the rock. For example, granite possesses some lattice defects that can trap unpaired electrons over time via natural radiation coming from below the surface, triggering a larger current.
The team stated that the kind of fault also has an effect. However, until seismologists figure more things out, we still don’t know if recent odd electromagnetic bursts could predict an earthquake.
The team explained that it might still be possible to detect the electric signal following a quake by analyzing the telluric current produced in a conductor, like a steel water pipe buried underground.