Essay on A Proposal to Review How Geophysical Precursors

1932 Words Oct 24th, 2012 8 Pages
A Proposal to Review How Geophysical Precursors
Can Help Predict Earthquakes
Christopher Gray
February 1995

Introduction
Throughout the world, devastating earthquakes occur with little or no advance warning. Some of these earthquakes kill hundreds of people. If the times, magnitudes, and locations of these earthquakes could be accurately predicted, many lives could be saved. This document proposes a review of how monitoring geophysical precursors can help in the short-term prediction of earthquakes. The proposed review will discuss the physical principles behind the monitoring of three common precursors and evaluate how accurate each monitoring is in predicting earthquakes. Included in this proposal are my methods for gathering
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Two years later, an earthquake of magnitude 8 did strike Mexico City. Because the prediction was not more precise, no warning was issued and the earthquake took the population of Mexico City by surprise. Other predictions have turned out to be false warnings. For example, an earthquake warning was issued in August 1976 near Hong Kong [Bolt, 1988]. During the earthquake alert, people slept outdoors for two months. No earthquake occurred.

Objectives
I propose to review the available literature on how geophysical precursors can be used for short-term predictions of earthquakes. In this review, I will achieve the following three goals: 1. explain three commonly monitored geophysical precursors: ground uplift and tilt, increases in radon emissions, and changes in the electrical resistivity of rocks; 2. show what happens to each of these precursors during the five stages of an earthquake; and 3. discuss how each of these precursors is used for short-term earthquake predictions.
Geophysical precursors are changes in the physical state of the earth that are precursory to earthquakes. In addition to monitoring geophysical precursors, there are other strategies for predicting earthquakes-in particular, analyzing statistical data on prior earthquakes. Analyzing statistical data on prior earthquakes, however, is solely a long-term

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