Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 493–516

Precursors to earthquakes: Seismoelectromagnetic signals

  • Stephen K. Park

Abstract

Field measurements in the past several years have documented electromagnetic signals which are attributed to precursory stress and strain changes which were followed ultimately by earthquakes. Precursory electric field changes observed in Greece on multiple dipoles have been used to issue earthquake predictions. While the source of these signals is still unknown, a sufficient number of predictions has been issued to allow some, but not all, statistical analyses to show this method is better than randomly sampling the earthquake catalog. Ongoing efforts to identify the sources of both these signals and the magnetic field variations prior to the Loma Prieta earthquake are focusing on electrokinetic coupling of fluid flow and transient electric fields. A mechanism related to local fluid flow appears to be best suited at this time of explaining the variety of purported precursors. However, much more work is needed to improve the observations and refine the models of precursor generation. Efforts to monitor magnetotelluric transfer functions at longer periods (T>10s) have been hampered by variability of the functions. The use of modern noise reduction techniques such as remote referencing should reduce this variability, but may not reduce errors to a level needed for monitoring. Monitoring of high frequency (81 kHz) seismoelectric emissions may be promising, but lack of simultaneous observations on multiple instruments hinders the utility of this technique.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aceves, R. L, Park, S. K., and Strauss, D. J.: 1994, ‘Statistical Evaluation of the VAN Method using the Historic Earthquake Catalog in Greece’,Geophysical Research Letters, in press, 1996.Google Scholar
  2. Antonopoulos, G., Kopanas, J., Eftaxias, K., and Hadjicontis, V.: 1993, ‘On the Experimental Evidence for the SES Vertical Component’,Tectonophysics 224, 47–50.Google Scholar
  3. Berdichevskiy, M. N. and Dmitriev, V. E.: 1976, ‘Basic Principles of Interpretation of Magnetotelluric Sounding Curves’, in A. Adam (ed.),Geoelectric and Geothermal Studies, Akademai Kiado, Budapest, pp. 165–221.Google Scholar
  4. Bernard, P.: 1992, ‘Plausibility of Long Distance Electrotelluric Precursors to Earthquakes’,J. Geophys. Res. 97, 17,531–17,546.Google Scholar
  5. Bird, P. and Kong, X.: 1994, ‘Computer Simulations of California Tectonics Confirm very Low Strength of Major Faults’,Geological Society of America Bulletin 106, 159–174.Google Scholar
  6. Byerlee, J.: 1990, ‘Friction, Overpressure, and Fault Normal Compression’,Geophys. Res. Lett. 17, 2109–2112.Google Scholar
  7. Byerlee, J.: 1992, ‘The Change in Orientation of Subsidiary Shear Faults Containing High Pore Fluid Pressure’,Tectonophysics 211, 295–303.Google Scholar
  8. Byerlee, J.: 1993, ‘Model for Episodic Flow of High Pressure Water in Fault Zones before Earthquakes’,Geology 21, 303–306.Google Scholar
  9. Chouliarias, G. and Rasmussen, T. M.: 1988, ‘The Application of the Magnetotelluric Impedance Tensor to Earthquake Prediction Research in Greece’,Tectonophysics 152, 119–135.Google Scholar
  10. Dologou, E. and Varotsos, P.: 1986, ‘Thermally Stimulated Currents in Rocks’,J. Geophys. 59, 177–182.Google Scholar
  11. Draganov, A. B., Inan, U. S., and Taranenko, Y. N.: 1991, ‘ULF Magnetic Signatures at the Earth Surface due to Ground Water Flow: A Possible Precursor to Earthquakes’,Geophys. Res. Lett. 18, 1127–1130.Google Scholar
  12. Dobrovolsky, I. P., Gershenzon, N. I., and Gokhberg, M. B.: 1989, ‘Theory of Electrokinetic Effect Occurring at the Final State in the Preparation of a Tectonic Earthquake’,Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 57, 144–156.Google Scholar
  13. Ernst, T., Jankowski, J., Rozluski, C., and Teisseyre, R.: 1993, ‘Analysis of the Electromagnetic Field Recorded in the Friuli Seismic Zone, Northeast Italy’,Tectonophysics 224, 141–148.Google Scholar
  14. Fraser-Smith, A. C., McGill, P. R., Helliwell, R. A., and Villard, Jr., O. G.: 1994, ‘Ultra Low Frequency Magnetic Field Measurements in Southern California during the Northridge Earthquake of 17 January 1994’,Geophys. Res. Lett. 21, 2195–2198.Google Scholar
  15. Fenoglio, M. A., Fraser-Smith, A. C., Beroza, G. C., and Johnston, M. J. S.: 1993a, ‘Comparison of Ultra-Low Frequency Electromagnetic Signals with Aftershock Activity During the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake Sequence’,Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 83, 347–357.Google Scholar
  16. Fenoglio, M. A., Johnston, M. J. S., and Byerlee, J. D.: 1993b,Magnetic and Electric Fields Associated with Changes in High Pore Pressure in Fault Zones—Applications to Loma Prieta ULF Emissions, Presented at Conf. on Mechanical Involvement of Fluids in Faulting, Fish Camp, California, June 6–10, 1993.Google Scholar
  17. Fitterman, D. V.: 1979, ‘Calculation of Self-Potential Anomalies near Vertical Contacts’Geophysics 44, 195–205.Google Scholar
  18. Fitterman, D. V.: 1981, ‘Correction to “Theory of Electrokinetic-Magnetic Anomalies in a Faulted Half-Space”’,J. Geophys. Res. 86, 9585–9588.Google Scholar
  19. Fraser-Smith, A. C., Bernardi, A., McGill, P.R., Ladd, M. E., Helliwell, R. A., and Villard Jr., O. G.: 1990, ‘Low-Frequency Magnetic Field Measurements Near the Epicenter of theM s7.1 Loma Prieta Earthquake’,Geophys. Res. Lett. 17, 1465–1468.Google Scholar
  20. Fujinawa, Y. and Takahashi, K.: 1993, ‘Anomalous VLF Subsurface Electric Field Changes Preceding Earthquakes, Presented at Intl. Workshop on Electromagnetic Phenomena Related to Earthquake Prediction’, Tokyo, Sept. 6–8.Google Scholar
  21. Gamble, T. D., Goubau, W. M., and Clarke, J.: 1979, ‘Magnetotellurics with a Remote Magnetic Reference’,Geophysics 44, 53–68.Google Scholar
  22. Gershenzon, N. and Gokhberg, M.: 1993, ‘On the Origin of Electrotelluric Disturbances Prior to an Earthquake in Kalamata, Greece’,Tectonophys. 224, 169–174.Google Scholar
  23. Gokhberg, M. B., Morgounov, V. A., Yoshino, T. and Tomizawa, I.: 1982, ‘Experimental Measurement of Electromagnetic Emissions Possibly Related to Earthquakes in Japan’,J. Geophys. Res. 87, 7824–7828.Google Scholar
  24. Goldstein, M. A. and Strangway, D. W.: 1975, ‘Audio-Frequency Magnetotellurics with a Grounded Electric Dipole Source’,Geophys. 40, 669–683.Google Scholar
  25. Hadijoannou, D., Vallianatos, F., Eftaxias, K., Hadjicontis, V., and Nomicos, K.: 1993 ‘Subtraction of the Telluric Inductive Component from VAN Measurements’,Tectonophys. 224, 113–124.Google Scholar
  26. Hamada, K.: 1993, ‘Statistical Evaluations of the VAN Predictions Issued in Greece: Alarm and Success Rates’,Tectonophys. 224, 203–210.Google Scholar
  27. Honkura, Y., Niblett, E. R., and Kurtz, R. D.: 1976, ‘Changes in Magnetic and Telluric Fields in a Seismically Active Region of Eastern Canada: Preliminary Results of Earthquake Prediction Studies’,Tectonophys. 34, 219–230.Google Scholar
  28. Honkura, Y. and Kuwata, Y.: 1993, ‘Estimation of Electric Fields in the Conducting Earth's Crust for Oscillating Electric Current Dipole Sources and Implications for Anomalous Electric Fields Associated with Earthquakes’,Tectonophys. 224, 257–264.Google Scholar
  29. Ishido, T., Mizutani, H., and Baba, K. 1983, ‘Streaming Potential Observations using Geothermal Wells and In situ Electrokinetic Coupling Coefficients Under High Temperature’,Tectonophys.91, 89–104.Google Scholar
  30. Jaeger, J. C. and Cook, N. G. W.: 1969,Fundamentals of Rock Mechanics, Chapman and Hall, London.Google Scholar
  31. Johnston, M. J. S., Linde, A. T., Gladwin, M. T., and Borcherdt, R. D.: 1987, ‘Fault Failure with Moderate Earthquakes’,Tectonophys.144, 189–206.Google Scholar
  32. Jones, A. G.: 1992, ‘Electrical Conductivity of the Continental Lower Crust’, in D. M. Fountain, R. J. Arculus and R. W. Kay (eds.),Continental Lower Crust, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 81–143.Google Scholar
  33. LaTorraca, G. A., Madden, T. R., and Korringa, J.: 1986, ‘An Analysis of the Magnetotelluric Impedance for Three-Dimensional Conductivity Structure’,Geophysics 51, 1819–1829.Google Scholar
  34. Miyakoshi, J.: 1986, ‘Anomalous Time Variation of the Self Potential in the Fractured Zone of an Active Fault Preceding Earthquake Occurrences’,J. Geomagnet. Geoelectric. 38, 1015–1030.Google Scholar
  35. Mizutani, H., Ishido, T., Yokokura, T., and Ohnishi, S.: 1976, ‘Electrokinetic Phenomena Associated with Earthquakes’,Geophys. Res. Lett. 3, 365–368.Google Scholar
  36. Morat, P. and LeMouel, J. L.: 1992, ‘Electrical Signals Generated by Stress Variations in Porous Non-Saturated Rocks’,C.R. Academie Science Paris 315, 955–963.Google Scholar
  37. Morat, P., LeMouel, J. L., and Granier, A.: 1994, ‘Electrical Potential on a Tree. A Measurement of Sap Flow?’,C.R. Academie Science Paris 317, 98–101.Google Scholar
  38. Mount, V. S. and Suppe, J.: 1992, ‘Present Day Stress Orientations Adjacent to Active Strike-Slip Faults: California and Sumatra’,J. Geophys. Res. 97, 11,995–12,013.Google Scholar
  39. Mueller, R. J. and Johnston, M. J. S.: 1990, ‘Seismomagnetic Effect Generated by the October 18, 1989,M L 7.1 Loma Prieta, California Earthquake’,Geophys. Res. Lett. 17, 1231–1234.Google Scholar
  40. Mulgaria, F. and Gasperini, P.: 1992, ‘Analyzing the Statistical Validity of Earthquake Precursors, an Application to the “VAN” Method’,Geophys. J. Int. 111, 32–44.Google Scholar
  41. Nagao, T., Uyeda, S., Asai, Y., and Kono, Y.: 1993, ‘Recently Observed Anomalous Changes in Geoelectric Potential Preceding Earthquakes in Japan’, Submitted toJ. Geophys. Res.,Google Scholar
  42. Nibblet, E. R. and Honkura, Y.: 1980, ‘Time-Dependence of Electromagnetic Transfer Functions and their Association with Tectonic Activity’,Geophys. Surv. 4, 97–114.Google Scholar
  43. Nourbehecht, B.: 1963, ‘Irreversible Thermodynamic Effects in Inhomogenous Media and Their Applications in Certain Geoelectric Problems’, Ph.D. thesis, M.I.T.Google Scholar
  44. Park, S. K.: 1991, ‘Monitoring Changes of Resistivity Prior to Earthquakes in Parkfield, California, with Telluric Arrays’,J. Geophys. Res. 96, 14,211–14,237.Google Scholar
  45. Park, S. K. and Fitterman, D. V.: 1990, ‘Sensitivity of the Telluric Monitoring Array in Parkfield, California, To Changes of Resistivity’,J. Geophys. Res. 95, 15,557–15,571.Google Scholar
  46. Park, S. K., Johnston, M. J. S., Madden, T. R., Morgan, F. D., and Morrison, H. F.: 1993, ‘Electromagnetic Precursors to Earthquakes in the ULF Band: A Review of Observations and Mechanisms’,Rev. Geophys. 31, 117–132.Google Scholar
  47. Parrot, M. and Johnston, M. J. S. (eds.): 1989, ‘Seismoelectromagnetic Effects’,Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 57, 1–177.Google Scholar
  48. Parrot, M., Achache, J., Berthelier, J. J., Blanc, E., Deschamps, A., Lefeuvre, F., Menvielle, M., Plantet, J. L., Tarits, P., and Villain, J. P.: 1993, ‘High-Frequency Seismo-Electromagnetic Effects’,Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 77, 65–83.Google Scholar
  49. Petiau, G. and Dupis, A.: 1980, ‘Noise, Temperature Coefficient, and Long Time Stability of Electrodes for Telluric Observations’,Geophys. Prospect. 28, 792–804.Google Scholar
  50. Ranganayaki, R. P. and Madden, T. R.: 1980, ‘Generalized Thin Sheet Analysis in Magnetotellurics: An Extension of Price's Analysis’Geophys. J. Royal Astron. Soc. 60, 445–457.Google Scholar
  51. Rozluski, C. P. and Yukutake, T.: 1993, ‘Preliminary Analysis of Magnetotelluric and Seismic Activity in the Chubu District Japan’,Acta Geophysica Polonica 41, 17–26.Google Scholar
  52. Shnirman, M., Schreider, S., and Dmitrieva, O.: 1993, ‘Statistical Evaluation of the VAN Predictions Issued During the Period 1987–1989’,Tectonophys. 224, 211–221.Google Scholar
  53. Slifkin, L. A.: 1993, ‘Seismic Electric Signals from Displacement of Charged Dislocations’,Tectonophys. 224, 149–152.Google Scholar
  54. Stein, R. S., King, G. C. P., and Lin, J.: 1992, ‘Changes in Failure Stress on the Southern San Andreas Fault System Caused by the 1992M=7.4 Landers Earthquake’,Science 258, 1328–1332.Google Scholar
  55. Stopinski, W. and Teisseyre, R.: 1982, ‘Precursory Rock Resistivity Variations Related to Mining Tremors’,Acta Geophysica Polonica 30, 293–320.Google Scholar
  56. Teisseyre, R.: 1992, ‘Earthquake Premonitory Processes: Evolution of Stresses and Current Generation’,Terra Nova,4, 509–513.Google Scholar
  57. Utada, H.: 1993, ‘On the Physical Background of the VAN Earthquake Prediction Method’,Tectonophys. 224, 149–152.Google Scholar
  58. Varotsos, P. and Lazaridou, M. 1991, ‘Latest Aspects of Earthquake Prediction in Greece Based on Seismic Electric Signals’,Tectonophys.188, 321–347.Google Scholar
  59. Varotsos, P., Alexopoulos, K., and Lazaridou, M.: 1993a, ‘Latest Aspects of Earthquake Prediction in Greece Based on Seismic Electric Signals, II’,Tectonophys. 224, 1–38.Google Scholar
  60. Varotsos, P., Alexopoulos, K., Lazaridou-Varotsou, M., and Nagao, T.: 1993b, ‘Earthquake Predictions Issued in Greece by Seismic Electric Signals Since February 6, 1990’,Tectonophys. 224, 269–288.Google Scholar
  61. Yamazaki, Y.: 1974, ‘Coseismic Resistivity Steps’,Tectonophys. 22, 159–171.Google Scholar
  62. Yoshino, T.: 1991, ‘Low-Frequency Seismogenic Electromagnetic Emissions as Precursors to Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions in Japan’,J. Sci. Explor. 5, 121–144.Google Scholar
  63. Yoshino, T. and Sato, H.: 1993, ‘The Study of Exciting Process of Seismogenic Emission at Epicenter by Magnetic Film Based on Statistical Analysis’,JISHIN 16, 8–24.Google Scholar
  64. Yoshino, T., Tomizawa, I., and Shibata, T.: 1985, ‘The Possibility of Using a Direction Finding Technique to Locate Earthquake Epicenters from Electromagnetic Precursor Radiation, Ann’,Annales Geophysica 3, 727–730.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen K. Park
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geophysics and Planetary PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

Personalised recommendations