SOURCE: QuakeFinder

QuakeFinder

June 23, 2011 13:15 ET

QuakeFinder Undertakes Major Expansion of Earthquake Sensor Network

More Sites Near Worldwide Fault Lines Will Produce More Data to Accelerate Research on Creation of an Earthquake Forecasting System

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 23, 2011) - QuakeFinder, a private research organization dedicated to development of a system for forecasting major earthquakes, today announced that it is beginning a major expansion of its network of instruments designed to detect electromagnetic signals that precede earthquakes. The QuakeFinder network currently consists of more than 60 instruments, mainly located in California, and with smaller installations internationally. The newly initiated expansion will increase the number of sites in California to 65, replacing 20 aging instruments and adding 10 new ones. The expansion will also include new instruments near existing sites in Peru and Taiwan, and grow the network into regions of the world where there are not yet any similar sensors. Target countries include Chile, Greece, and Turkey.

Tom Bleier, QuakeFinder manager and vice president of humanitarian research at parent company Stellar Solutions, said, "Analysis of data collected before and during more earthquakes is the only way to increase confidence in our ability to recognize the signature of an imminent earthquake, and the only way to get that data is to have more sensors in more places likely to have earthquakes."

In late 2010 QuakeFinder decided to accelerate its mission of saving lives by forecasting major earthquakes by building and deploying as many new sensors as possible as soon as possible. In early 2011 it completed development of a new lower-cost instrument with higher precision instruments and self-contained solar/battery power supply. The new instruments allow faster and more flexible deployment to increase the pace and lower the cost of network expansion.

QuakeFinder's research is focused on electromagnetic signals that have been shown to exist when rocks are placed under extreme pressure. This theory, developed by researcher Dr. Friedemann Freund at NASA Ames, has been confirmed in both laboratory (small rocks) and field (large boulder) experiments. QuakeFinder has recorded data before, during, and after several major earthquakes and has confirmed that signals very similar to those observed in the laboratory and field experiments are present before and during these quakes. These results are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

QuakeFinder is not yet able to make forecasts of impending earthquakes. The network expansion underway is intended to increase the body of evidence for the identified precursor signal signature and to allow further refinement of methods for interpreting the data. The group intends that this will lead in time to a robust system that will provide warnings days or weeks before major earthquakes.

About QuakeFinder

QuakeFinder is the world's leading private research organization focused on creating a system for forecasting major earthquakes. Operating as a humanitarian R&D division of Stellar Solutions and funded primarily by Stellar Solutions, with grants from NASA, and subscriptions, and sponsorships from the public, QuakeFinder has developed the science, technology, infrastructure and expertise that are the foundation for a practical earthquake forecasting solution.

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