Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hydrogeochemical Changes Before And After A Major Earthquake

Date:
August 20, 2004
Source:
Swedish Research Council
Summary:
Scientists at Stockholm University in Sweden may have developed a new method for predicting earthquakes with the help of geochemistry. The method involves metering the content of certain metals in underground water, which changes before and after an earthquake.

Scientists at Stockholm University in Sweden may have developed a new method for predicting earthquakes with the help of geochemistry. The method involves metering the content of certain metals in underground water, which changes before and after an earthquake.

The team of researchers behind these discoveries, presented in the latest issue of the scientific journal Geology, is led by Alasdair Skelton, professor of petrology and geochemistry at Stockholm University. An other member of the research group is Lillemor Claesson at the same department.

Earthquakes primarily represent a threat to areas where continental plates meet: Japan, Turkey, California, for example. A major problem is the difficulty of quickly predicting quakes and the risks in these prone areas. Now Alasdair Skelton and his research team are claiming that it may be possible to predict tremors by metering how the content of metals in underground water changes.

The method was developed in Iceland, before and after a major earthquake (5.8 on the Richter scale). The chemistry of Ice Age water was sampled from a 1.5 km deep well in northern Iceland and was monitored for 10 weeks before and one year after the earthquake, which occurred on September 16, 2002.

Chemical peaks for iron and chromium, manganese, zinc and copper were detected 10, 5, 2, and 1 week(s) before the earthquake. After the tremor they returned to their normal levels. Comparison with experimental studies indicates that these chemicals were dissolved from the surrounding rock, but at higher temperature and therefore deeper in the Earth's crust. Upward migration of this chemically-fingerprinted water to the team's sampling station could result from changes in the permeability of the Earth's crust, caused by the accumulation of energy before the earthquake.

Alasdair Skelton feels that it is now time to test whether these observations from Iceland agree with observations and metering in other earthquake-prone areas.

"Water chemistry may thus provide us with a tool which may help us to predict earthquakes. Shortly after the earthquake, we detected a rapid chemical shift for a range of elements and isotopes. We interpret these changes as indicative of the rapidity with which the permeability of the fault zone changes during an earthquake cycle, with one reservoir being sealed off, while another is unsealed," says Alasdair Skelton.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Swedish Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Swedish Research Council. "Hydrogeochemical Changes Before And After A Major Earthquake." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234546.htm>.
Swedish Research Council. (2004, August 20). Hydrogeochemical Changes Before And After A Major Earthquake. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234546.htm
Swedish Research Council. "Hydrogeochemical Changes Before And After A Major Earthquake." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234546.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Organic Fertilizer Helps Reforestation of Monarch Butterflies’ Winter Retreat

New Organic Fertilizer Helps Reforestation of Monarch Butterflies’ Winter Retreat

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Using an organic fertiliser, a conservationist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), leads an award-winning project to reforest the sanctuary of monarch butterflies. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins