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No. 98: Mar-Apr 1995

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Earthquake Ripples In The Ionosphere

During the January 1994 Northridge earthquake in California, the ground surface acted like a drumhead. By suddenly shoving the surface upwards by about 40 centimeters, the quake generated atmospheric disturbances that spread skyward at velocities of 1,000-2,200 kilometers/hour. Upon reaching the ionosphere, the waves created ripples that were detected by the array of navigational satellites that make up the Global Positioning System (GPS). (Monastersky, Richard; "Bouncing an Earthquake off the Sky," Science News, 146:415, 1994)

Comment. The great 1964 Alaskan quake not only blasted the ionosphere, it generated air waves that were detected by a microbarograph at Berkeley, California, 3,130 kilometers away. See GSW2 in Earthquakes, Tides, Unidentified Sounds. For a description of this volume, visit here.

From Science Frontiers #98, MAR-APR 1995. 1995-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987