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No. 82: Jul-Aug 1992

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Fluid Injection Causes Luminous Phenomena

"The first recorded sighting of earthquake lights (EQL) dates from 373 BC in Greece. The same report mentions extensive underground rivers, but it has taken over 2300 years and the development of statistical methods to suggest a connection among fluid pressure, earthquakes, and geophysical luminosities. Many of the sightings are treated as mystical experiences, depending on local cultural values. In Denver and Rangely, Colorado, and Attica, New York, these sightings correlate with earthquakes and injection of fluid into the earth for waste disposal or secondary oil recovery. In the New Madrid, Missouri, area, luminosities are highly correlated with flooding on the Mississippi River and tend to occur 9 months after high water. Enough luminosities, and radio emissions in the ULF band, are observed weeks to months before earthquakes to suggest that they be tested as a possible forecasting tool for the select places where they occur. The pattern of occurrence may delineate the progress of tectonic strain and so indicate the direction or even location of a future epicenter. Fluid moving through developing cracks may be the source of electrical energy which powers the EQL. A number of potential mechanisms should be considered, involving tectonic strain, exoelectron emission, streaming potential, EM excitation of water droplets, and the fault zone as an EM waveguide."

(Derr, John S., and Persinger, Michael A.; "Fluid Injection Causes Luminous Phenomena," paper presented at the 11th Annual Meeting, Society for Scientific Exploration, Princeton, NJ, June 11, 1992.)

From Science Frontiers #82, JUL-AUG 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss