Prepared by E.D.G.  Latest Update: June 4, 2000
E-mail: edgrsprj@ix.netcom.com    Return to E.D.G. homepage

           The demonstration earthquake prediction program being outlined in this report could be thought of as an Internet based version of a vast earthquake forecasting program which I understand has been running in the People's Republic of China for decades.


           It is believed that earthquakes an result from a number of different geologic processes. An example of one of those processes would be a situation where two of the earth's crustal plates which share a common boarder are moving in different directions. And instead of slipping past one another the rock layers in their shared boarder remain locked together. Over time energy is stored in those rock layers as the pressure for them to slip past one another increases. Eventually that accumulated energy becomes so great that the rock layers fracture. And the sudden release of the stored energy results in an earthquake.

           Some researchers including myself believe that there are a sizeable number of warning signs or earthquake precursors which signal that energy is being stored in rock layers in earthquake fault zones and that an earthquake may be about to occur. We also believe that if we could collect enough information regarding those earthquake precursors we could then forecast when and where at least some earthquakes were going to occur.

           The proposed earthquake prediction program being discussed here would use the Internet to collect earthquake precursor data submitted through the use of Web site data entry screens, by e-mail and by other means, by individuals, scientific groups, and government agencies around the world. The data would be evaluated and stored in files at some Web site and displayed on expandable, interactive world maps which people could examine at that site. When an earthquake occurred researchers would examine the data files and attempt to determine which earthquake precursors served as accurate and reliable indicators that an earthquake was going to occur.


           The following GIF format maps demonstrate how earthquake precursor data could be displayed on expandable, interactive maps in connection with such an earthquake prediction program. These maps propose what we might have seen just before the January 17, 1994 earthquake in Northridge, California, USA had this earthquake prediction program been in existence at that time.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The data points being used in these maps were made up by me. These are not real data points. As far as I am aware there was little if any earthquake precursor information collected before the January, 1994 Northridge earthquake. Additionally, the maps themselves are rough, handmade drawings which are not intended to be accurate representations of how the earth's continents actually look or where California area earthquake fault lines are located. Large land masses such as the Arctic, and Antarctica have even been left off the maps to make them easier for me to work with.

           In an actual operating program people would:


MAP # 1 - This map presents a hypothetical picture of where above average numbers of earthquake precursor observations were being made and reported around the world on the day before the Northridge earthquake. There would probably be more than one Hot Spot for earthquake precursor activity at any given time. A number of those hot spots can be seen on this map as yellow colored areas. The orange or red hexagon on the left side of the map shows that intense earthquake precursor activity was being observed somewhere along the West Coast of the United States at that time. (Remember, these are made-up data points.)


MAP # 2 - Clicking the computer mouse in the area of California, USA in Map #1 would present the viewer with Map # 2 which shows the entire state of California. This hypothetical data map is sufficiently detailed to show individual fault lines. Map # 2 also shows that there were above average numbers of earthquake precursor observations being made in the state around January 16, 1994 in both the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.


MAP # 3A - Clicking the computer mouse in the Los Angeles area of Map # 2 would cause Map # 3A to be displayed. This hypothetical data map shows areas of above average earthquake precursor activity in the vicinity of Los Angeles, fault lines in that area, and the names "Los Angeles" and "Northridge." An orange or red colored area just north of Los Angeles shows that there was intense earthquake precursor activity being reported in the vicinity of Northridge around January 16, 1994. (Remember, these are made-up data points.)


MAP # 3B - This is not shown with the present maps, but in the actual operating earthquake prediction program, on the top, bottom, and sides of each map there would be commands which could be activated for different purposes. For example, if you wished to see where individual earthquake precursor observations were being made you could click on one of those commands and hypothetical data Map # 3B would be displayed.

           Each letter on Map # 3B represents a particular type of earthquake precursor such as seismic fluctuations, ground water level changes, or reports of lost pets etc. Larger letters with no numbers indicate observations which are less than a week old. Older observations are shown as smaller letters with a 1 or a 4 to the right side of them (example: N 4). Smaller letters with a 1 mean the observation is 1 to 4 weeks old. Smaller letters with a 4 mean the observation is 4 weeks to 12 weeks old.


           A variety of different data formats would be available for display with the maps.

           For several examples:


           A program could be developed which would involve using the Internet to collect and display earthquake precursor data submitted to it by people around the world. I believe that such a program might enable us to detect at least some approaching earthquakes.

           Relatively small programs like that could be run by individuals on commercial Internet servers. However a program similar to the one outlined in this present report would be collecting and displaying so much information that it would probably have to be developed and run by a large scientific group or government agency.


           The outline for the state of California in Map #2 was traced from a map which was FTP downloaded from a University of Texas Internet map collection site which can be found at:  ftp://www.lib.utexas.edu/pub/Map_collection

           Outlines for some of the other maps and details such as fault lines were roughly traced from maps which were FTP downloaded from a U.S. Geological Survey Internet map collection site which can be found at:  ftp://quake.wr.usgs.gov/pub/www/QUAKES/CURRENT

           Both groups were contacted by me regarding my using their maps. University of Texas personnel responded to my request and did not express any objection. U.S. Geological Survey personnel have told me that their maps were produced by the U.S. Government and are not copyright protected. It is my understanding that this means that they are free for anyone to use.

           Neither group has any connection with the demonstration earthquake prediction program which has been discussed in this report. - E.D.G.

The first version of this report was stored at my former Prairienet Web site on
October 8, 1996.  The statements in this report represent expressions of personal
opinion.    Comments regarding this report are welcome.   Please send them to:
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