Early Warning System For Earthquakes | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Early Warning System For Earthquakes

Play associated audio

Virginia's summer earthquake came as a surprise to everyone, but Raúl Baragiola, a professor of engineering physics at the University of Virginia, says there's one possible way to detect quakes in advance.

"There are these reports that may be true or not that animals actually can detect it before it happens," says Baragiola.

Tremendous pressure had built up along the San Andreas Fault, and rocks deep underground were probably breaking. Baragiola knew that in the presence of a spark, an extra molecule could be added to oxygen, creating a gas called ozone. Animals may be especially sensitive to the stuff. Humans, for example, can smell it when lightning in a distant thunderstorm creates ozone.

So, Baragiola's team began breaking rocks in the lab, and making ozone. However, how much notice could we get from an ozone monitor?

"If you have even half a minute, that's enough to tell school children to go under the bench," he says. "You can save a lot of lives."

NPR

Martin Amis' 'Zone Of Interest' Is An Electrically Powerful Holocaust Novel

Martin Amis' latest novel, which takes place in Auschwitz, has already stirred up controversy in Europe according to the New York Times. But reviewer Alan Cheuse calls it the triumph of Amis' career.
NPR

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And The Risk Of Diabetes

There's a new wrinkle to the old debate over diet soda: Artificial sweeteners may alter our microbiomes. And for some, this may raise blood sugar levels and set the stage for diabetes.
NPR

House Passes Bill That Authorizes Arming Syrian Rebels

Even though it was backed by both party leaders, the vote split politicians within their own ranks. The final tally on the narrow military measure was 273 to 156.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.