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Nature of Pre-Earthquake Phenomena and their Effects on Living Organisms
AbstractEarthquakes occur when tectonic stresses build up deep in the Earth before catastrophic rupture. During the build-up of stress, processes that occur in the crustal rocks lead to the activation of highly mobile electronic charge carriers. These charge carriers are able to flow out of the stressed rock volume into surrounding rocks. Such outflow constitutes an electric current, which generates electromagnetic (EM) signals. If the outflow occurs in bursts, it will lead to short EM pulses. If the outflow is continuous, the currents may fluctuate, generating EM emissions over a wide frequency range. Only ultralow and extremely low frequency (ULF/ELF) waves travel through rock and can reach the Earth surface. The outflowing charge carriers are (i) positively charged and (ii) highly oxidizing. When they arrive at the Earth surface from below, they build up microscopic electric fields, strong enough to field-ionize air molecules. As a result, the air above the epicentral region of an impending major earthquake often becomes laden with positive airborne ions. Medical research has long shown that positive airborne ions cause changes in stress hormone levels in animals and humans. In addition to the ULF/ELF emissions, positive airborne ions can cause unusual reactions among animals. When the charge carriers flow into water, they oxidize water to hydrogen peroxide. This, plus oxidation of organic compounds, can cause behavioral changes among aquatic animals.
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Freund, F.; Stolc, V. Nature of Pre-Earthquake Phenomena and their Effects on Living Organisms. Animals 2013, 3, 513-531.View more citation formats
Freund F, Stolc V. Nature of Pre-Earthquake Phenomena and their Effects on Living Organisms. Animals. 2013; 3(2):513-531.Chicago/Turabian Style
Freund, Friedemann; Stolc, Viktor. 2013. "Nature of Pre-Earthquake Phenomena and their Effects on Living Organisms." Animals 3, no. 2: 513-531.