SOURCE: QuakeFinder

QuakeFinder

June 16, 2010 11:42 ET

QuakeFinder -- Ocotillo, Ca. M5.7 Quake: Aftershock or Precursor?

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - June 16, 2010) -  The M5.7 earthquake that occurred at 9:26 PM Monday night in the small town of Ocotillo, Ca. appears to be the latest in a series of many aftershocks from the April 4, 2010 M7.2 earthquake in Baja, Mexico.

But is it an aftershock?

There have been a very large number of small earthquakes occurring after the Baja quake, but it is unusual that many of the quakes have migrated northwest up to the California border, and appear to be moving up the Elsinore fault, possibly towards Julian, Ca. The small quakes were clustering around the Ocotillo, Ca. area for several weeks until the pattern was punctuated with this latest M5.7 quake 5 miles south of Ocotillo. The question is: Will the pattern continue up the Elsinore Fault?

QuakeFinder, a Humanitarian R&D Division of Stellar Solutions, Inc. in Palo Alto, Ca., has been monitoring the swarm from several of over 60 magnetometer sensors in southern California. Although most of the small earthquakes are beyond the 20 mile range of the magnetometers, the QuakeFinder group is carefully monitoring this migration pattern as it moves up the Elsinore fault. A QuakeFinder site in Julian, Ca. is 40 miles up the fault line and may detect stress movement in the next few months. If the pattern switches to the San Jacinto/Coyote Creek fault system to the north, then QuakeFinder's site in Ocotillo Wells (29 miles north of Ocotillo) may detect the next larger quake in that area.

Previously, QuakeFinder discovered a strange series of magnetic pulses starting two weeks prior to the 2007 Alum Rock, Ca. M5.4 earthquake. That sample was analyzed and published in a science journal (NHESS). They have been seeking other examples of these pre-earthquake signals, and in May 5, 2010, they discovered a similar pulse pattern 2 weeks prior near a new site in Tacna, Peru, and close to a M6.1 quake. QuakeFinder's rapidly expanding network has over 60 working sites in California and a growing roster of international collaborations. Data from these earthquakes demonstrated both ultra low frequency (ULF) magnetic pulses as well as increases in the air conductivity within 20-30km of the epicenter. These indicators are useful in determining the location, time, and magnitude of the impending earthquake. "This data continues to support our hypothesis that there may be a sequence of electromagnetic signals that occur around two weeks prior to large earthquakes," says Tom Bleier, head of QuakeFinder, "and this research holds life-saving significance."

In order to confirm any findings, there needs to be an increase in the density of the network of sensors to allow the capture and analysis of more earthquake events in order to determine if the patterns are repeatable. In an innovative approach to the expansion of the network, QuakeFinder invites private individuals, businesses and governments to sponsor or host sites. Anyone interested in becoming a host or sponsor can simply go to the website www.quakefinder.com to learn more about the research.

About QuakeFinder
QuakeFinder, the Humanitarian R&D division of Stellar Solutions, is located in Palo Alto, CA, and conducts pioneering research in the area of earthquake forecasting with the ultimate aim to develop, within the next decade, a global earthquake warning system.

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