The sea change in earthquake forecasting

The prioritization, thinking and action needed to forecast earthquakes has been at a standstill for decades.

There is a sea change going on in the earthquake forecasting community and GeoCosmo is leading the way. Instead of referring to the mechanics of seismology, GeoCosmo uses semiconductor physics, satellites, artificial intelligence, big data, and other exponential technologies and methods to forecast statistically likely earthquakes.

“Earthquakes are unpredictable,” say many traditional seismologists who take a mechanistic approach to earthquake forecasting. By primarily relying on classical mechanics to identify foreshocks the vast majority of earthquake forecasting initiatives have proven ineffective.

The situation changed dramatically with the discovery that rocks contain dormant electronic charge carriers which can be activated by stress. When Earth applies high levels of stress, the rocks can undergo catastrophic rupture leading to an earthquake.

The electronic charge carriers that are activated in the rocks have a special name: “Positive Holes.” Positive holes travel fast through many kilometers of rock (up to about 200 meters per second). Positive holes begin flowing out of stressed rocks up to several weeks before an earthquake.

When they arrive at the surface of the Earth, Positive holes have properties that are critical to earthquake forecasting. Positive hole currents produce a number of signals have been identified. Ultra-low frequency electromagnetic waves, air ionization, total electron content anomalies, thermal infrared anomalies, ozone formation, carbon monoxide release, ground potential changes, and groundwater chemistry changes are a few of the signals that GeoCosmo uses to forecast earthquakes.

GeoCosmo aggregates precursor data from satellites, ground-based sensors, and mobile devices. This massive data set becomes the input for GeoCosmo’s earthquake forecasting algorithms. Earthquake forecasts are generated from the outputs of these algorithms using artificial intelligence and natural language generation technologies.

Earthquake forecasting is a complex endeavor and is one of our planet’s last great natural challenges.

GeoCosmo is taking on this challenge by creating a global network of scientists, corporate and foundation partners and committed volunteer researchers who all share the goal of creating a safer world for the nearly two billion people who are in highly seismic regions.

This is your planet too. Are you willing to take on this very exciting challenge with us?

We hope so.

The Vice Rector of Dokuz Eylul Univeristy in Izmir Prof Dr Murat Ozgoren and GeoCosmo President Prof Dr Friedemann Freund signed MoU in Izmir in September 2015.. Dr. Gerassimos A. Papadopoulos, Research Director of Institute of Geodynamics of National Observatory of Athens signed MoU with Prof. Dr. Friedemann Freund President of GeoCosmo Group….




Prof. K. Tsiganos, Director & President of the Governing Council, National Observatory of Athens and Dr. Gerassimos A. Papadopoulos, Research Director of Institute of Geodynamics of National Observatory of Athens signed MoU with Prof. Dr. Friedemann Freund President of GeoCosmo Group….

Purpose: The purpose of this MOA is to define the agreements, conditions and expected costs for the research collaboration within the frame of the tectonic monitoring and forecasting project between the parties (“Initial Phase of Project”).

This Project aims to investigate earthquake precursory phenomena in the seismogenic area of the eastern Aegean Sea – western Anatolia (“Research Area”), for the purpose of collaboratively learning how this research may help in forecasting/predicting strong (>M5.5) earthquakes from ground-based and space-based observations (the “Project”). GCC will provide research and advice on areas of its expertise to GI/NOA to be utilized to install new ground sensors as well as to record, analyze and evaluate seismic activity in the research area. For this purpose GI/NOA will collaborate with GCC and other research institutes/units associated to the Project to be determined later in the Project. This MOA is for an initial period of 90 days (“First Project Period”) and will expire unless extended by the parties or unless the parties enter into a long form written Collaboration Agreement (“CA”) to define the commercial terms of the GeoCosmo Global Earthquake Forecast System to be deployed in Greece. It is intended that the actual CA will have an initial term of two years and will automatically renew unless either party provides 90 days prior written notice (before the expiration of the then current Term) of its intention not to renew the CA Disaster resilience in the face of natural hazards is best measured in our ability to anticipate and prepare for the inevitable. Though storms, floods and earthquakes may be natural phenomena, when we are able to prepare for these events, we minimize the impact and the level of disaster response, saving lives, money and valuable recovery time. This dramatically increases our ability for restoration of essential basic infrastructure and societal harmony.

Earthquakes are the most deadly of all natural disasters and among the most costly as measured in lives lost, personal injuries and enormous property damage, not to mention the emotional trauma during a major event and in the aftermath. The economic impact due to lost productivity and tax income for local and national governments for a magnitude 7-class earthquake in a highly industrialized region can exceed €100 billion Euros. The costs for rebuilding infrastructure can easily run in the €10’s of billions of Euros. We have the ability to greatly minimize this impact and the human suffering associated with an earthquake, allowing people who would otherwise require disaster assistance to instead support disaster response and be available for rapid rebuilding of infrastructure.

Today, significant progress in scientific research allows us to detect and interpret signs of an approaching earthquake. The reason is that, prior to the catastrophic rupture, there is an increasing buildup of tectonic stresses between tectonic plates some 10-35 kilometer deep in the Earth’s crust. This increasing stress activates the release of highly mobile electronic charge carriers within the rock matrix. These positive charge carriers radiate outwards from the highly stressed rock volume at speeds of 100-200 meters-per-second. When charge carriers arrive at the Earth’s surface, they give rise to a range of physical and chemical reactions, which produce signals that can be measured, in the groundwater, at the ground surface, and in the low atmosphere and all the way up to the ionosphere in the area of the imminent earthquake. By measuring these signals, an early warning system can reliably predict an earthquake, days to weeks in advance.

Using satellite data and data from regional ground station networks, we propose to build a Global Earthquake Forecasting System. The data from a network of multiple sensors will be transmitted in real time to a Data Center where this data will be continually analyzed. Upon data validation by multiple sensors, this information will be continually broadcast to small applications running on personal mobile devices. This information delivered via a virtual globe, will show the location of the concern and the level of confidence to that data based on confirmation by continual analyses of multiple signals, from ground measurements and satellite analyses. This will allow the affected community to continuously monitor the various indicators of an imminent earthquake and to decide for themselves when the risk seems sufficiently identified to take action.

This same system can be used for disaster response by helping to coordinate the community with guidance for recommended action and could also allow input from the community for status in different areas that will help guide first responders.

Earthquake Precursor Science

Earthquake Forecasting Can Become Reality

There is one physical process that is capable of giving us useful information for an impending earthquake, this results from stress-activation of electronic charge carriers deep within the Earth’s crust. Though the build-up of pre-earthquake (pre-EQ) stresses occurs kilometers deep near the focal point of an oncoming earthquake, the consequences can be detected at the Earth’s surface in multiple ways, in the groundwater, at the ground surface and in the atmosphere above the affected area. These pre-EQ signals allow us to recognize an impending earthquake days to weeks in advance.

Introduction to the nature of charge carriers and where these pre-EQ signals originate.

All rocks have properties operating at the atomic level. For example, all rocks in Earth’s crust contain what is referred to as peroxy defects. Peroxy defects are pairs of oxygen anions that have changed their valence from the usual 2– to the unusual 1–. Because peroxy defects are inconspicuous and difficult to detect, they have historically been overlooked by the scientific community. However, when rocks are subjected to increasing stress prior to an earthquake, these peroxy defects become activated and release electronic charge carriers known as positive holes.
Positive holes are electronic charge carriers similar to ‘defect electrons’ in transistors and everyday electronics, but in rocks they are associated with a single O– in a matrix of O2–. Once these positive holes are generated in the Earth’s crust due to pre-earthquake stress increase, they tend to rapidly migrate through the overlying rock. They migrate through the Earth’s crustal rock in a manner that resembles the flow of electrons through a semiconductor. They can move at speeds up to 200 meters per second and can travel long distances – tens to possibly hundreds of kilometers. Once the positive holes arrive at the Earth’s surface, they produce multiple physical responses that are detectable. These signals are indicators of the heightened risk for an earthquake. These signals are non-seismic, that is, they are not based on sound waves or motion due to the fracturing of rock but on the nature of the rock matrix experiencing increasing pressure. These signals may be fleeting and irregular, but there are many different kinds of signals. If we know where to look and how to recognize them, they can provide clear indicators of stresses building up deep within the Earth, days and even weeks before a major earthquake.

List of pre-EQ signals and of the methods to detect them

Without going into specific details of how different pre-EQ signals are generated, suffice to say, all these signals are linked to the upward migration of positive-hole charge carriers originating from regions of high stress to the rock matrix, radiating from there outward through the Earth’s crust and rising to the Earth’s surface. We can measure these multiple pre-EQ signals at the ground surface and the atmospheric affect all the way up through the ionosphere.











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