Satellites Predict Earthquakes 19 Days in Advance

Satellite orbit. image by pixabay

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Being able to prepare for a coming earthquake could save lives, with better evacuation and planning – a new study suggests that this could soon be an actual ability.

Professor Mehdi Akhoondzadeh from the University of Tehran, lead author of the study, claims the creation of earthquake early warning systems is “not far from reach.” Akhoondzadeh and his team reportedly analyzed chemical and atmospheric anomalies in the months before the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated regions in Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023.

According to Interesting Engineering, the team used the CSES-01 seismo-electromagnetic satellite from China along with the European Space Agency’s Swarm satellites, which provided data of abnormalities in temperature and electron density throughout the Earth’s system with which he observed a pattern.

“The results of this study confirm the sequence of appearance of earthquake precursors from the lower layers of the lithosphere to the upper layers of the ionosphere…The signs first present themselves on the ground and lift further above Earth. We just might not have been looking for the right signs,” explained Akhoondzadeh.

He also admits that it is necessary to investigate and evaluate statistical analysis for several earthquakes, but adds that this study suggests that using a variety of remote-sensing satellites could help us study and identify earthquake precursors over two weeks in advance.

Akhoondzadeh further mentioned that before the powerful earthquake happened in Turkey “the solar and geomagnetic indices showed abnormal variations, which is necessary to investigate the hypothesis of the relation between solar-geomagnetic activities and the occurrence of large earthquakes in this study area in future studies.”

This study holds immense potential to open up future studies, calling researchers and scientists to pivot their focus over to satellites in order to study earthquake patterns. Using different classical and intelligent algorithms also provides the possibility of detecting complex and non-linear anomalies, so there is hope that science will be able to create earthquake warning systems with low uncertainty.