pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 122, Issue 2–4, pp 175–184 | Cite as

Relation between hydrogen emission and seismic activities

  • Ryuichi Sugisaki


Measurements of chemical composition of bubbles from a mineral spring at Yuya Spa situated close to the Median Tectonic Line, the longest active fault in Japan, showed that the periods of increased H2 emission coincided with occurrences of the Ohno earthquake swarm nearby. Four cases of the coincidence without exception were observed in the last three years. The fluctuation of H2 concentration ranges between <0.5 and 200 ppm, whereas other gases such as He, Ar, N2, and CH4 do not fluctuate much. The H2 concentration is correlated with the energy released by the seismic activity. This field evidence, together with the results of laboratory experiments conducted bySugisakiet al. (1983), leads to the conclusion that H2 observed at the mineral spring was produced by the reaction between groundwater and rock fractured in the seismic activities. The observation that H2 in the mineral spring tends to appear prior to an earthquake suggests that microcracks may occur in rocks prior to earthquakes. The precursory emission of H2 may be useful for earthquake prediction.

Key words

Hydrogen emission Seismic activity Earthquake prediction 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryuichi Sugisaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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