Is there a link between space weather and larger seismic events?

Updated: May 10, 2021

Having a close inspection of the last 7 days space weather from U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an energetic geomagnetic G1 to G2 solar storm impacted and disturbed the earth’s magnetosphere between 1st March and 4th March. Stronger solar storms can cause disruptions to electricity grids, communications, GPS and satellite hardware but recently several seismological related studies have examined the timing of such events with large earthquakes. While no one can scientifically predict earthquakes, the earthquake events over the past 72 hours are an intriguing coincidence with the timing of these high-speed stream of solar winds that arrived from the Sun between 1st to 4th March (universal time).

For further reference on this subject, one recent scientific journal published in July 2020 named ‘On the correlation between solar activity and large earthquakes worldwide’ came up with the following conclusion. “This paper gives the first, strongly statistically significant, evidence for a high correlation between large worldwide earthquakes and the proton density near the magnetosphere, due to the solar wind. This result is extremely important for seismological research and for possible future implications on earthquake forecast”.

Another study published in February 2018 named ‘Geomagnetic Kp Index and Earthquakes' concluded “a distinct pattern of the Kp fluctuations prior to earthquakes was found, indicating the synchronization of geomagnetic surges and seismicity”. This study found that the Japan March 2011 earthquake events also occurred at the same time of a strong incoming solar storm.

German scientist Alfred Wegener in 1915 was the person to come up with the ‘Continental drift’ plate tectonic theory and his theory was ridiculed for decades. But the science community warmed to the theory after the American’s closely studied the Great Alaska M9.2 quake on 27 March 1964. Seismology is still a relatively new field and our understanding of the planet and its mechanisms is improving all the time as new research is published.

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