Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SHAKE AND BLOW
Groundwater helium level could signal potential risk of earthquake
by Staff Writers
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Nov 30, 2016


Scientists collect groundwater sample from a well in the Kumamoto earthquake region. Image courtesy 2016 Yuji Sano. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Japanese researchers have revealed a relationship between helium levels in groundwater and the amount of stress exerted on inner rock layers of the earth, found at locations near the epicenter of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake. Scientists hope the finding will lead to the development of a monitoring system that catches stress changes that could foreshadow a big earthquake.

Several studies, including some on the massive earthquake in Kobe, Japan, in 1995, have indicated that changes to the chemical makeup of groundwater may occur prior to earthquakes. However, researchers still needed to accumulate evidence to link the occurrence of earthquakes to such chemical changes before establishing a strong correlation between the two.

A team of researchers at the University of Tokyo and their collaborators found that when stress exerted on the earth's crust was high, the levels of a helium isotope, helium-4, released in the groundwater was also high at sites near the epicenter of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, a magnitude 7.3 quake in southwestern Japan, which caused 50 fatalities and serious damage.

The team used a submersible pump in deep wells to obtain groundwater samples at depths of 280 to 1,300 meters from seven locations in the fault zones surrounding the epicenter 11 days after the earthquake in April 2016. They compared the changes of helium-4 levels from chemical analyses of these samples with those from identical analyses performed in 2010.

"After careful analysis and calculations, we concluded that the levels of helium-4 had increased in samples that were collected near the epicenter due to the gas released by the rock fractures," says lead author Yuji Sano, a professor at the University of Tokyo's Atmosphere Ocean Research Institute.

Furthermore, scientists estimated the amount of helium released by the rocks through rock fracture experiments in the laboratory using rock samples that were collected from around the earthquake region. They also calculated the amount of strain exerted at the sites for groundwater sample collection using satellite data.

Combined, the researchers found a positive correlation between helium amounts in groundwater and the stress exertion, in which helium content was higher in areas near the epicenter, while concentrations fell further away from the most intense seismic activity.

"More studies should be conducted to verify our correlation in other earthquake areas," says Sano. "It is important to make on-site observations in studying earthquakes and other natural phenomena, as this approach provided us with invaluable insight in investigating the Kumamoto earthquake," he adds.

Yuji Sano, Naoto Takahata, Takanori Kagoshima, Tomo Shibata, Tetsuji Onoue and Dapeng Zhao, "Groundwater helium anomaly reflects strain change during the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake in Southwest Japan", Scientific Reports


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
University of Tokyo
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
SHAKE AND BLOW
Five jailed over deadly Taiwan quake collapse
Taipei (AFP) Nov 25, 2016
The owner of a building where foam and empty cans were used as filler in concrete support columns was jailed in Taiwan Friday over the deaths of 115 people in an earthquake. Four others - two architects, a structural technician and a designer - were also sent to prison over the collapse of the apartment complex, which crumbled when a 6.4 magnitude quake struck. It was the only high-ris ... read more


SHAKE AND BLOW
13 held over China power plant collapse as toll hits 74: media

UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas

Ukraine to unveil giant new safety dome over Chernobyl

Timeline of Chernobyl nuclear disaster

SHAKE AND BLOW
Inside tiny tubes, water turns solid when it should be boiling

Model could shatter a mystery of glass

More reliable way to produce single photons for quantum information imprinting

For platinum catalysts, tiny squeeze gives big boost in performance

SHAKE AND BLOW
Arid Saudi could need '$50 billion' in water investment

Researchers capture first glimpse of important, abundant ocean microbe

Oceans act as 'heat sink'

Toxic 'marine snow' can sink quickly, persist at ocean depths

SHAKE AND BLOW
After 5-year study, scientists say unchecked Arctic melting may bring irreversible change

Thinning and retreat of West Antarctic glacier began in 1940s

American scientists discover the first Antarctic ground beetle

New arrivals at remotest base on Earth - will you be next

SHAKE AND BLOW
'I feel like I'm being exploited': Deliveroo riders seek recognition

Sweden slaughters 200,000 hens on bird flu fears

Danish supermarket offers fresh take on expired food

Which cropping system is best for the environment?

SHAKE AND BLOW
Two dead in Italy storms

Five jailed over deadly Taiwan quake collapse

Gulf state Qatar hit by flooding

What's up with Madagascar

SHAKE AND BLOW
Fidel Castro's military forays in Africa

US seeks UN arms embargo against South Sudan

Uganda nabs suspect in $120 mn fake arms deal

Africa waits and wonders on Trump's foreign policy

SHAKE AND BLOW
The role of physical environment in the 'broken windows' theory

Scientist uses 'dinosaur crater' rocks, prehistoric teeth to track ancient humans

Genes for speech may not be limited to humans

Traumatic stress shapes the brains of boys and girls in different ways




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement