With accuracy to the twenty-four hours
Russian physics promise to forecast earthquakes

Destructive, with the enormous victims earthquake in Turkey again raises the question about that, is possible the scientific short-term forecast of earthquakes. These are by no means academic problem for 20 million Russians, who live in earthquake-hazard regions - in the Far East, Kamchatka, in Transbaykal, the Amur Region, in the North Caucasus. As reported to us the chief scientific worker of the united institute of geophysics RAN [RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE] Doctor of Physics and Mathematics JOSEPH GUFEL'D, the method exists. It is proposed by the specialists of institute and has already been used, but not in Russia, but in Japan. To attain financing its practical application on the native land proved to be impossibly.

Although the scientific and practical work according to the forecast is conducted sufficiently widely, earthquakes continue to find specialists and official authorities unaware. The basic difficulties of developing the operational procedure of prognostication are connected with the absence, until now, of the physical models of seismic process adequate for the real geological medium. On the basis of what ideas now they do attempt to make forecast? They assume that the preparation in the earth's crust of the strongest earthquakes, with which is separated high energy, cannot remain unnoticed for the geophysical methods of the monitoring of medium. I.e., slow accumulation in the large volumes of significant elastic energy must unambiguously be reflected in the behavior of different geophysical pour on. However, the many-year experience of observations in the seismoactive regions of different countries showed that the anomalies of different geophysical pour on they bear unstable nature, their morphology is not repeated for different earthquakes. And generally many of the anomalies can be connected not only with the preparation of earthquakes, but also with the influence of weather factors, a change in the hydro-regime and the background tectonic processes. And to divide the action of these factors is impossible.

These anomalies can appear and disappear in the years and the decades, and also directly before the earthquakes. Moreover short term the anomalies being isolated are most frequently observed far beyond the limits of future epicentral zone. How to make forecasts in this situation, which is not plotted in the framework of laboratory ideas? Without understanding physics of the development of situation, specialists simply feared to make any forecasts. The attempts to realize purely empirical forecast could not be finished successfully. Articles about the incapacity of contemporary geophysics and seismology to solve the problem of forecast not randomly after destructive earthquake in Kobe (Japan) in the press appeared.

It became many clear that to continue work according to the principle "of searching for that - I do not know that" already cannot. Fundamental importance in the works according to the forecast of strong earthquakes have the development of physics of process, understanding its development.

We must know in each relatively short period of time, in what state is the medium - normal, background, when strong earthquake cannot occur, or critical, unstable, when the strongest possible earthquake. In this case the danger warning is necessary. But to make such substantiated forecasts possible on the basis of the knowledge of physics of processes and use of the corresponding means of monitoring, which make it possible to judge the development of seismotectonic situation.

In the laboratory of the geo-electrodynamics of institute geophysics im. Schmidt RAN [RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE] are proposed new ideas about physics of the unsteady state of the earth's crust, which consider the geological data about the gas respiration of the Earth. The unsteady state of the earth's crust is connected with the ascending diffusion of light gases, helium and hydrogen. Moreover the effects, which accompany the diffusion of light gases, are universal. They are manifested not only in the rocks, but also in the fuel elements of nuclear reactors, or in the materials, whose elements chemically do not interact with these gases.

In the geological medium the flows of light gases are continuous, but their intensity somewhat changes. As a result the volume of solid phase first increases, then it decreases. This leads to the appearance of secondary stresses and the formation of the state with constant energy saturation, close to the maximum. By this it is possible to explain the instability of the earth's crust. The flows of light gases somewhat more in the explosive structures and the boundaries of the blocks, where these effects appear more contrastingly. This is background situation, first of all in the aseismic zones.

In the seismoactive regions the conditions differ. Here on the earth's crust from below act the extra forces of geodynamic nature, connected with the processes in the mantle of the Earth. Under the action of these forces occurs the displacement of blocks along the boundaries, which has already been find in the maximum energy state. If the ascending current of light gases is regular, then the displacement of blocks is accompanied by weak seismicity. However, if the regularity of the ascending currents of light gases is disrupted, then conditions for passing the medium into the critical state in the large volume appear, i.e. the process of the preparation of the center of strong earthquake is achieved.

Monitoring all these states is possible on the basis of data analysis about the weak seismicity. Even now it is possible to propose scientific strategy of the forecast of the most probable places of the strongest earthquakes and methodology of the estimation of seismic safe periods. This will make it possible to forego the empirical estimations, which are the basis of forecast at present.

Is decided the problem of the forecast of the time of the strongest earthquakes. It is already proven that the forecast of time in the controlled regions can be made with an accuracy to twenty-four hours on the anomalous ionospheric behavior. This methodology is also developed in the laboratory of geo-electrodynamics. It was shown that if the specific region of medium is in critical state, then it emits the infrasonic waves, which cause ionospheric disturbances. This state of the ionosphere was fixed with precise radiophysics methods. The combination of the ionospheric and seismic methods of monitoring will make it possible substantially to move in the solution of the problem of the forecast of earthquakes.

The specialists of the institute of geophysics attempt to fix on Kamchatka and Kurilakh - in the earthquake-hazard regions of Russia - the ionospheric monitoring of short term seismic danger, but not one federal department manifests interest in these to works, although the collaboration from the side of institute was proposed. Ionospheric methods at the same time developed in the institute of geophysics are evaluated in Japan, and works there are conducted on the contract basis.
Source: kommersant 1999.8.21