QuakeFinder is a company focused on developing a system for earthquake prediction. QuakeFinder operates as a project of aerospace engineering firm Stellar Solutions, and by subscriptions and sponsorships from the public.
In the 1970s, scientists were optimistic that a practical method for predicting earthquakes would soon be found, but by the 1990s continuing failure led many to question whether it was even possible. Extensive searches have reported many possible earthquake precursors, but, so far, such precursors have not been reliably identified across significant spatial and temporal scales. Based on the results of this research, most scientists are pessimistic and some maintain that earthquake prediction is inherently impossible.
QuakeFinder has deployed a network of sensor stations that detect the electromagnetic pulses the team believes precede major earthquakes. Each sensor is believed to have a range of approximately 10 miles (16 km) from the instrument to the source of the pulses. As of 2016, the company says they have 125 stations in California, and their affiliate Jorge Heraud says he has 10 sites in Peru. Using these sensors, Heraud says that he has been able to triangulate pulses seen from multiple sites, in order to determine the origin of the pulses. He said that the pulses are seen beginning from 11 to 18 days before an impending earthquake, and have been used to determine the location and timing of future seismic events.
However, insofar as a verifiable prediction would require a publicly-stated announcement of the location, time, and size of an impending event before its occurrence, neither Quakefinder nor Heraud have yet verifiably predicted an earthquake, much less issued multiple predictions of the type that might be objectively testable for statistical significance.
In 2010, QuakeFinder researchers said that they had observed ultra low frequency magnetic pulses emitted by the earth near the 2007 M5.4 Alum Rock earthquake near San Jose ́ California, starting two weeks prior to the event. Researchers from the USGS studied similar phenomena during the Parkfield earthquake experiment. These researchers did not find evidence of electromagnetic earthquake precursors.
QuakeFinder advisor Friedemann Freund suggests that slip along a fault activates charge carriers and underground electrical currents, producing electromagnetic pulses that can be detected with magnetometers. The underground currents may also cause air-conductivity changes and ground heating. QuakeFinder says that an infrared signature of the Alum Rock earthquake was detected by NASA's GOES weather satellite.
The QuakeFinder team believes that the effects they are trying to study are localized in time and space, and aim to eventually be able determine "the time (within 1-2 weeks), location (within 20-40km) and magnitude (within +/- 1 increment of Richter magnitude) of earthquake greater than M5.4." There is no independent verification of their results so far.
- "Quakefinder Mission". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
- Note however that, according to IRS Publication 78 ("Cumulative List of Organizations described in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986" ) Quakefinder is not a tax-exempt organization.
- Geller et al. 1997, p. 1617; Geller 1997, §2.3, p. 427; Console 2001, p. 261.
- Geller 1997, Summary.
- Kagan 1997b; Geller 1997. See also Nature Debates; Uyeda, Nagao & Kamogawa 2009. "...at the present stage, the general view on short-term prediction is overly pessimistic. There are reasons for this pessimism because mere conventional seismological approach is not efficient for this aim. Overturning this situation is possible only through multi-disciplinary science. Despite fairly abundant circumstantial evidence, pre-seismic EM signals have not yet been adequately accepted as real physical quantities."
- John Upton (August 13, 2011). "Pursuing the Grail of an Earthquake Predictor, but Facing Skeptics". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
- Lisa Sibley (March 25, 2011). "QuakeFinder's mission: Detect quakes before they shake". Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. American Cities Business Journals. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- "Quakefinder Blog". QuakeFinder. 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- Heraud, Jorge (2016). "presenter bio". Singularity University Summit. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- Heraud, J. A.; Centa, V. A.; Bleier, T. (2015-12-01). "Electromagnetic Precursors Leading to Triangulation of Future Earthquakes and Imaging of the Subduction Zone". AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. 32: NH32B–03. Bibcode:2015AGUFMNH32B..03H.
- Enriquez, Alberto (2015). "Earthquake-prediction technology deserves to be taken seriously (OPINION)". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
- Bleier, T; Dunson, C (2010). "Correlation of pre-earthquake electromagnetic signals with laboratory and field rock experiments" (PDF). Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 10 (9): 1965–1975. Bibcode:2010NHESS..10.1965B. doi:10.5194/nhess-10-1965-2010. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- "The Parkfield, California Earthquake Experiment". USGS.org. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
- Freund, F. T.; Takeuchi, A.; Lau, B. W. (2006). "Electric currents streaming out of stressed igneous rocks - A step towards understanding pre-earthquake low frequency EM emissions". Phys. Chem. Earth. 31 (4–9): 389–396. Bibcode:2006PCE....31..389F. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2006.02.027.
- Quakefinder (20 June 2009). "QuakeFinder Detects Quake: Pre-Quake Signatures Detected by QuakeFinder and NASA". SpaceRef.com. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- Bleier, T. E.; Dunson, C.; Roth, S.; Heraud, J.; Freund, F. T.; Dahlgren, R.; Bryant, N.; Bambery, R.; Lira, A. (December 2010). "Current progress in using multiple electromagnetic indicators to determine location, time, and magnitude of earthquakes in California and Peru". AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. American Geophysical Union. 2010: NH24A–02. Bibcode:2010AGUFMNH24A..02B. abstract #NH24A-02.
- John Upton (August 15, 2011). "The Science of Predicting Earthquakes: U.S. Geological Survey refuses to fund controversial research into electromagnetic signals". The Bay Citizen. New York Times. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
Bleier, T; Dunson, C (2010). "Correlation of pre-earthquake electromagnetic signals with laboratory and field rock experiments" (PDF). Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 10 (9): 1965–1975. Bibcode:2010NHESS..10.1965B. doi:10.5194/nhess-10-1965-2010.
Freund, F. T.; Takeuchi, A.; Lau, B. W. (2006). "Electric currents streaming out of stressed igneous rocks - A step towards understanding pre-earthquake low frequency EM emissions" (PDF). Phys. Chem. Earth. 31 (4–9): 389–396. Bibcode:2006PCE....31..389F. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2006.02.027.
Freund, F. T. (2007). "Stimulated IR emission from rocks: Assessing a stress indicator" (PDF). EEarth. 2 (1): 1–10. Bibcode:2007Earth...2....1S. doi:10.5194/ee-2-7-2007.
- Parkfield Earthquake Experiment
- Gordon Tokumatsu; Julie Brayton (Jun 29, 2011). "Can Scientists Predict Earthquakes?". Los Angeles: NBC. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- W. H. Wallace (Sep 29, 1998). "A Misuse of Public Funds: U.N. Support for Geomagnetic Forecasting of Earthquakes and Meteorological Disasters". AGU.