QuakeFinder Completes Major Expansion of Earthquake Sensor Network

New Sites Near Fault Lines in California, Peru, Taiwan, and Greece Will Produce More Data to Accelerate Research on Creation of an Earthquake Forecasting System

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 1, 2012) - QuakeFinder, a private research organization dedicated to development of a system for forecasting major earthquakes, today announced that it has completed a major expansion of its network of instruments designed to detect electromagnetic signals that precede earthquakes. The QuakeFinder network now consists of more than 75 instruments, mainly located in California, and with smaller installations internationally. The newly completed expansion increased the number of sites in California to 65, replaced 20 aging instruments and added 10 new ones. The expansion includes new instruments augmenting existing sites in Peru and Taiwan, as well as the first such sensors in Europe with several sites in Greece.

Tom Bleier, QuakeFinder manager and vice president of humanitarian research at parent company Stellar Solutions, said, "Installing instruments in more places likely to have major earthquakes is the best way to obtain more data allowing us increased confidence in our ability to recognize the signature of an imminent earthquake."

In Peru, QuakeFinder is working with Dr. Jorge Heraud Perez, a professor and Director of a research institute at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru (PUCP) in Lima. This research effort is in collaboration with QuakeFinder to start a South American network to collect more electromagnetic signals near high probability earthquake sites. The project also represents a coalition of municipalities, business owners, and private land owners to host these initial instruments in a network which they expect to expand to about 35 sites over the next few years.

The National Central University (NCU) of Taiwan operates several electromagnetic monitoring systems for earthquake forecasting. Professor Tiger Liu and his team are actively working with QuakeFinder to integrate its network of magnetometers into their suite of space and ground-based systems to look for simultaneous indications of pre-earthquake signals.

QuakeFinder is working in Greece with Dr. G. A. Papadopoulos, Research Director at the Institute of Geodynamics, National Observatory of Athens (NOA.) This government seismological research group is actively working to expand its seismic-based research scope to include magnetic monitoring of precursors, and to look for correlations between seismic and magnetic precursors.

In late 2010 QuakeFinder decided to accelerate its mission of saving lives by forecasting major earthquakes. To do that, it would build and deploy as many new sensors as possible. The goal is to install 100 instruments per year for the next five years, and to capture and analyze signals related to three more earthquakes.

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 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.

Contact Information:

Tom Bleier