|This photo shows earthquake lights near Tagish Lake in Canada’s Yukon territory. Researchers looking at seismic records and found reports of the Cross Sound earthquake of July 1, 1973, which measured 6.7 on the Richter scale.|
In the past, I've posted articles referencing 'earth' or 'earthquake lights' and that this phenomena occurs prior and after some earthquakes.
A study in the journal Seismological Research Letters shows such quakes are tied to a specific type of temblor in areas where certain geological formations occur.
While rare, researchers were able to document 65 examples between 1600 and the present:
• Seconds before the 2009 L'Aquila, Italy, earthquake struck, pedestrians saw flames of light 4 inches high flickering above the stone-paved Francesco Crispi Avenue in the town's historical city center.
• In Pisco, Peru, a naval officer saw pale-blue columns of light bursting four times in succession out of the water on Aug. 15, 2007, as an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck. Security cameras in the city captured images of the lights as well.
• On Nov. 12, 1988, a bright purple-pink globe of light moved through the sky along the St. Lawrence River near the city of Quebec, 11 days before a powerful quake.
• And on April 18, 1906, blue flames were seen hovering at the base of foothills west of San Francisco just before the great earthquake hit. South of the city, in San Jose, one street was seen to be ablaze with fire in a faint but beautiful rainbow color.
According to Friedemann Freund, a professor of physics at San Jose State University and senior scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. when a powerful seismic wave runs through the ground and hits a layer of such rocks, it compresses the rocks with great pressure and speed, creating conditions under which large amounts of positive and negative electrical charges are generated. These charges can then travel together, allowing them to reach what's called a plasma state, which can burst out and shoot up into the air.
Robert Thériault, lead author on the paper and a geologist with the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources in Canada, states "We speculate that the dikes act as a funnel, focusing the charges until they become an ionized solid-state plasma. When the plasma bursts out into the air, it produces light.'
It was also noted that earthquake lights are sometimes mistaken for UFOs.
The lights aren't common enough in earthquake zones to be used as a warning system, Thériault said. But they have sometimes functioned that way. A geologist in Canada who was living in China in 1976 states he was warned of an impending quake. On July 28 that year, he saw earthquake lights, which prompted him to leave his house. Soon thereafter, the devastating Tangshan quake hit. It is believed to have killed hundreds of thousands of people. The geologist survived.
'Quake Lights' Reported Over Southern California - 5/2010
|Above: San Diego, CA|
|Above: Santiago, Chile prior to major earthquake|
weatherspace - San Diego residents are reporting shaking continuing in the area. The shaking, according to the USGS, is likely due to the Easter quake this year which rocked the region.
Twitter is rolling with reports of rainbow cloud over Los Angeles today. Reports are coming in that this looks similar to before both the China and Chile quakes where residents reported and took photos of such events in the sky.
While no one can be sure what it means, people should always be prepared for a major Earthquake in Southern California as it is seismically active.
Click for video
NOTE: This anomaly is the same type of 'earth lights' seen over China and Chile just prior to major earthquakes. You may want to look at this post - Unexplained Phenomena Before and After Natural Disasters...Lon
Electromagnetic Phenomenon Related to Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis: Projects and Principles for Beginning Geologists
Unexplained!: Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurrences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena