Using Semiconductor Physics to Forecast Earthquakes | Friedemann Freund | TEDxChristchurch
Earthquakes are the deadliest of all recurring natural disasters, disruptive and enormously costly.
They are feared because
they seem to strike without possibility of prior warning.
Earthquake disasters affect about 1/3rd of the world population.
For decades seismologists have tried to find ways to predict earthquakes using the established cientific tools of their discipline, namely mechanical physics. Yet, their efforts have failed and earthquakes remain unpredictable today as ever – except in terms of statistical probabilities with wide uncertainty windows, years to decades, or in terms of seconds of warning, when a major earthquake is already in progress. The reason for this deeply dissatisfactory situation is that the pre-earthquake processes, which can produce precursory signals, were never properly understood.
Vision of the GeoCosmo is to provide an actionable earthquake forecast system based on insight gained over decades of work to decipher the processes that take place deep in the Earth’s crust as tectonic stresses build up prior to earthquakes.
The GC vision is based on progress in understanding (1) solid state and semiconductor physics, (2) electrochemistry, and (3) chemistry as related to observations that can be made at the Earth surface, in groundwater, well and spring water, in the atmosphere all the way up to the ionosphere, and on observations made by satellite remote sensing. The vision is to demonstrate that it is possible to forecast major earthquakes days before they strike.
Objective of GeoCosmo is to establish and maintain ground stations, ground station networks, and satellite data streams to collect extremely diverse data and to use state-of-the-art artificial Intelligence to recognize patterns and trends.
Expected Results are to demonstrate the feasibility of actionable forecasts giving PLACE-DATE-MAGNITUDE of impending major earthquakes within reasonable limits (<200 km uncertainty, within a 1-3 days of the actual occurrence, and within 1 unit of magnitude on the Richter scale).
The Exploitable Results will carry far into the future, as the forecast methodology to be developed here will be refined and applied to different seismically active regions around the world as their ground station networks come on-line.
To improve today’s current observational capabilities, the GC is building regional networks of ground stations with multiple sensors in covering areas several hundred kilometers across. Wherever possible, we are updating existing seismic ground stations. The GC also uses satellite images to augment observational capabilities. Thus, the target regions are monitored from the ground and from satellites, adding to multi-parameter observations from complementary scientific disciplines to the science of seismology