Natural Hazards

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 279–304 | Cite as

Hydrogeological and Gasgeochemical Earthquake Precursors – A Review for Application

  • Jens HartmannEmail author
  • Jason K. Levy


Even if earthquake precursory signals can be identified, how can they be useful? This paper investigates relationships among the attributes of 229 proposed earthquake related gasgeochemical and hydrogeological precursory signals, and applies these results to improve future earthquake prediction strategies. Sub-groups of these reported signals and relationships between sub-groups are established using parameters, including earthquake magnitude, signal duration, precursory time, and epicentral distance to the monitoring site (original studies are used wherever possible to improve data quality). A strong correlation (r=0.86) between signal duration and precursory time was identified. This suggests a relationship between the investigated precursory signals and tectonic processes related to the referenced earthquakes. Moreover, these signals are categorized into four groups, reflecting differences in monitoring station densities, measurement methods and physical processes related to signal occurrence: (a) radon exhalation from the earth’s crust, (b) exhalation of other gases (helium, argon and others), (c) temporal variation in water level or discharge of springs and (d) temporal variation in temperature and dissolved ions in the water of the monitoring sites. In addition, boundary functions are used to separate signal group subsets. Finally, it is shown how these boundary functions can be used in the context of an earthquake prediction strategy by identifying potential minimum magnitudes and maximum epicentral distances from the monitoring site.


earthquake hydrogeology gasgeochemistry seismotectonics distribution analysis signal earthquake prediction 


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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Applied GeosciencesDarmstadt University of TechnologyDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI)Kyoto UniversityUji, KyotoJapan

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