Quakefinder Blog

Did you see it? M7.0 in Peru Wednesday August 24

Although QuakeFinder placed two of its instruments in Peru in 2010, yesterday’s quake was too far away for them to detect. The magnetic effects that our instruments measure dissipate rapidly with distance (1/r3) so we do not expect to pick up signals when an earthquake is more than about 20 miles from a sensor – the epicenter of Wednesday’s M7.0 was more than 350 miles from our nearest instrument. Although there have been several earthquakes in recent years in the same spot as yesterday’s, two things make this site undesirable for our research purposes: 1) it is in a dense jungle region, make it inaccessible, and 2) the earthquakes there are very deep, making them harder to detect. We are in the midst of a major expansion of our instrument network. Four more will be installed in Peru next month. Even then, they will be concentrated in an area far south of where the latest quake hit. The challenges of putting out enough instruments to catch lots of quakes quickly are large. We need to focus on areas with high concentration of quakes, that are also reasonable accessible. So our Peru sites are located near the Chilean border, far from Peru’s border with Brazil border where Wednesday’s quake was centered.

QuakeFinder wins NASA 3 year research grant

In February, NASA announced the award of a 3 year collaborative research agreement with QuakeFinder. We were awarded this grant based on our proposal to NASA’s Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES-2010) Earth Surface and Interior focus area. This funding will augment the existing financial support from Stellar Solutions and the Musk Foundation to continue QuakeFinder’s work in collecting and analyzing data from ground instruments in California and international locations. The NASA partnership will also add infra red (IR) monitoring of earthquake fault areas, using the GOES weather satellites, built by NASA and operated by NOAA. We will fuse this IR data with our ground magnetometer and air conductivity data to increase the likelihood of detecting pre-earthquake signals. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, by providing financial support for the development of short term warnings for large earthquakes, please contact Tom Bleier.

Mexico M7.4 and Chile M7.1 Earthquakes

On Tuesday, March 20th we were reminded how large earthquakes can strike at any time along the Pacific “Ring of Fire” when a M7.4 earthquake occurred in Oaxaca, Mexico. This was followed by a M7.1 136 miles south of Santiago, Chile on March 25th. QuakeFinder will add 62 units this year to our network of magnetometers and air conductivity instruments in California and several international locations in our expanding effort to develop a reliable short-term earthquake forecasting technology. Short term for us means several days warning prior to the quake. While we do not have any instruments in Mexico or Chile at this time, we are actively searching for university collaborators who can help us install our monitors in areas with high seismic risk. Please contact Tom Bleier at QuakeFinder if you have an interest in this research or would like to become a sponsor.