QuakeFinder Blog

Welcome Dr. Karl Kappler!

The QuakeFinder team is happy to announce that we are being joined in our Palo Alto office by Dr. Karl Kappler. We are extremely pleased to have Karl onboard as our ‘Chief Scientist’ in charge of algorithm development. In Karl’s role, he will collaborate with the team in designing, implementing and testing algorithms to investigate QuakeFinder’s >70 TB of field-collected electromagnetic sensor data. QuakeFinder’s mission is to save lives by forecasting earthquakes. Having now captured many dozens of earthquakes by our sensor network, the team is turning our full attention to establishing a robust analytical and data management framework and the rapid evaluation of candidate signal processing techniques – all with the goal of uncovering the correlations of pre-seismic electromagnetic (EM) signals to earthquakes. Karl hit the ground running based on his previous support to QuakeFinder as a technical consultant and long–time scientific advocate of our mission. He comes to us with a very impressive professional and educational background in geophysical sciences, mathematics, programming, statistics, and general earthquake domain knowledge. Karl received both his Masters of Science and PhD in Applied Geophysics from University of California, Berkeley. Lest one think he is an ivory-tower scientist, Karl’s field work has dirtied his hands in over 15 countries performing all aspects of geophysical surveys including magnetotellurics and bore hole R&D. He has an extensive work history in the private sector developing software and hardware products and techniques for the geoscience, oil&gas, and sensor industries. In between Karl’s field work, private sector endeavors and education, he has authored or co-authored 12 journal papers and 9 conference papers in the field of EM and holds one patent for signal noise removal. And you’ll find he is a helluva nice guy!

QuakeFinder to present at Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup

May 4, 2016 at 6 pm.  Location:

Cruzio & Ecology Action Green Building

877 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz, CA   Event Link.

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.

QuakeFinder Newsletter Q1 2016

Book Review: The Politics of Earthquake Prediction

The subject book provides a detailed account of an incident spanning the mid 1970s through the early 1980s. The ‘Brady-Spence’ prediction is named after the two U.S. government scientists who utilized a developing theory of rock fracturing as applied to forecasting coal mine collapse, and expanded the technique to predict large seismic events. They issued a prediction of a major (~Magnitude 9) earthquake to occur near Lima, Peru in the summer of 1980. This prediction, initially made years in advance and limited to scientific circles, eventually made its way into the Peruvian public realm.

Basically, all hell broke loose….

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