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Animals 2017, 7(9), 66;

Understanding Animal Detection of Precursor Earthquake Sounds

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Behavior and Natural Disasters)
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We use recent research to provide an explanation of how animals might detect earthquakes before they occur. While the intrinsic value of such warnings is immense, we show that the complexity of the process may result in inconsistent responses of animals to the possible precursor signal. Using the results of our research, we describe a logical but complex sequence of geophysical events triggered by precursor earthquake crustal movements that ultimately result in a sound signal detectable by animals. The sound heard by animals occurs only when metal or other surfaces (glass) respond to vibrations produced by electric currents induced by distortions of the earth’s electric fields caused by the crustal movements. A combination of existing measurement systems combined with more careful monitoring of animal response could nevertheless be of value, particularly in remote locations. View Full-Text
Keywords: infrasound; electrophonics; sound detection; animal behavior; earthquake prediction infrasound; electrophonics; sound detection; animal behavior; earthquake prediction

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Garstang, M.; Kelley, M.C. Understanding Animal Detection of Precursor Earthquake Sounds. Animals 2017, 7, 66.

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