Quakefinder Blog

110th year anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Anniversary of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake April 18th is the 110th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. They had barely invented seismometers in those days, and certainly did not have any electromagnetic monitoring equipment. However, there was an interesting report of another electromagnetic indicator–earthquake lights –contained in this 2014 story from USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/02/earthquake-lights-rare-phenomenon/4255097/ In the 9th paragraph of the story, the author cited reports of earthquake lights observed prior to the 1906 earthquake, both in San Francisco and in San Jose. If you want to see how earthquake lights appear on a security camera during the 2007 M8.0 quake south of Lima Peru, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f14pQakxXjc Earthquake lights obviously cannot be seen during daylight hours, so QuakeFinder uses specialized instruments near our magnetometers to monitor for significant air ionization, a necessary event prior to earthquake lights. To date, we have detected 3 cases of positive air ionization in the 24 hours prior to earthquakes in California and Peru. This year we are busy generating and testing new algorithms to sift through 40 TB of magnetometer and ion data, trying to identify and remove extraneous electromagnetic noise, and to identify unique patterns in the data prior to the many earthquakes captured in this data set.

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