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Plasma and Earthquakes

  1. Nov 15, 2015 #1
    I have been intrigued by reports over the years from witnesses who claimed (at various sites) that before a particularly severe earthquake, that unusual atmospheric phenomenon that would seem to be best described as various forms of plasma (super heated gas) were seen. Is this something accepted in geophysics and what would it indicate? Perhaps cracks in the earth allowing superheated gases to be released as the 'friction' zone of an earthquake reaches its peak?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2015 #2
    Can you cite anything about it? Most of the materials I can find are on Washington Post blog and National Geographic. As far as I looked, the relevant term is Earthquake Light. It seems to be vague and most of the explanations that are not (as aptly described in National Geographic article) 'UFO fodder' revolve around piezoelectric effect caused by a stress along the prospective earthquake zone.
  4. Nov 15, 2015 #3
    These have been anecdotal but over multiple times and sites. Here is but one link to clouds (fascinating) that were seen before an earthquake in China.
  5. Nov 15, 2015 #4
    Here is yet another, this time before a Canadian earthquake.
  6. Nov 15, 2015 #5
    Don't get me wrong, I'm just as curious as you are but could not find anything reputable almost instantly. It's usually a bad sign, so I would like to hear geophysicist say a few words on the topic.

    EDIT: This got sent unintentionally, I wasn't finished writing. Here's the rest:

    However, as noted in the rules it's not really a place for speculative talks etc. I was hoping to at least bring few clarifying terms and definitions. Videos are really nice, but without some additional data they can't be really assumed as a solid proof/material on its own. I would look around the term Earthquake Lights or similar, but there is nothing about it on Arxiv… usually a really bad sign for any theory.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  7. Nov 15, 2015 #6


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    Sorry to burst your bubble but that is a common ice cloud rainbow. Nothing to do with earthquakes. Feel free to Google the term.
  8. Nov 15, 2015 #7
    To clarify, it's part of the ice cloud halos, on the same side of the sun, opposite side to a rainbow.

  9. Nov 15, 2015 #8
  10. Nov 15, 2015 #9


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    Yup. When But ice cloud halo tends to turn up halos in Google that are more-or-less fully circular, looking little like the OP's example.
  11. Nov 15, 2015 #10


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