Current early-warning earthquake systems rely on so-called seismic waves, which are produced in the Earth during the rupture. But a new study found another method that could indicate an earthquake even earlier. By analyzing data from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off the coast of Japan, researchers have identified a prompt gravity signal that precedes seismic waves. These gravity signals could be used to circumvent earthquake hazards, such as tsunamis, by forecasting seismic activity earlier than current warning systems. Authors note that new tools for gravity signal detection would have to be developed to explore the early-warning system’s full potential.
Jean-Paul Montagner, Kévin Juhel, Matteo Barsuglia, Jean Paul Ampuero, Eric Chassande-Mottin, Jan Harms, Bernard Whiting, Pascal Bernard, Eric Clévédé & Philippe Lognonné
Jean-Paul Montagner, Institut de Physique du Globe, Paris, France, Email: email@example.com, Tel: +33 1 8395 7564
Original paper published in Nature Communications on November 22, 2016.