An Earthquake is the most destructive disaster as it can affect the entire planet with its wrath. And it not giving clues of arrival easily adds to its horror than rest of the disasters. We have seen its several aftermaths.
Even I felt the horror once!! And trust me; it’s far more heart-wrenching than I thought it could be.
We can’t stop tectonic activities responsible for an earthquake. What we can do is, we can predict its occurrence at a particular place. But our current systems aren’t fast and accurate enough.
The epicenter of an earthquake and its arrival time are the main factors in this process. We get the results just prior some hours before it happen. It’s impossible to alert people in such a short time. That’s why an earthquake is catastrophic.
Of late, I stumbled upon an invention by Erhta Space Technologies which discloses an earthquake prediction method. This earthquake prediction method could predict an arrival four days before. The company uses a method of radon emission for that.
A rock that contains Uranium when gets decayed, releases Radon. Also, Radon gas is a potential earthquake predictor because of its radioactivity and short-term fluctuation. All this helps an earthquake detection instrument in efficient detection.
Earthquake forecasting using a radioactive gas is an old technique. In 1970s and also in 1990s, scientists used this method but discredited it by declaring it unreliable. The method, however, came into spotlight once again when, in 2009, an Italian technician Giampaolo Giuliani predicted an earthquake.
The irony is that Giampaolo was criticized by people for a false prediction. But an earthquake hit the L’Aquila after just one week. Researchers, after that, again started working on the method. Since then, many scientists have been improving the radioactive gas based earthquake forecasting technique.
The invention by Erhta Space Technologies is one such advancement in the technique.
How Radioactive Gas Based Earthquake Prediction Method Works?
The patent application discloses that the invention will be keeping a track of different anomalies occurring in different atmospheric layers. An aircraft, drone, or satellite can be used to find these anomalies in different layers.
Further, Lithosphere Atmosphere Ionosphere Coupling (LAIC) model will also be used in the process. LAIC model helps developing the new ways in short-term earthquake prediction.
The pre-seismic wave fracture rocks emitting radon. An airborne instrument will detect the emissions and compare it with the normal emission.
If detect emission is crossing a threshold, the system will check increase in the latent heat – the heat required to convert a solid into liquid with change in temperature, and also outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) anomaly.
The OLR is electromagnetic in nature and is crucial in an earthquake forecasting. Its existence is a probable sign of an earthquake.
To check an epicenter, anomalies in Ionosphere – at 80 to 1000 KM above the earth’s surface – will be checked.
Why this system could be awesome? I think this is what you are thinking at this moment. As I already mentioned, it can forecast an arrival four days before which is way better than the present forecasting system.
I wish this radioactive gas based earthquake forecasting method should work as per the details of the patent application. This isn’t a patent application alone. It’s a hope!
As technology brought out a fine way to compete with this disaster, other future concerns will need to overcome soon. One of such concern is helium escape and there is no way to stop it.