First Quarter Issue

Seismo-electromagnetics stirs joint research among
Filipino and Japanese scientists

Joint research among Filipino and Japanese ScientistsA new field called seismo-electromagnetics is generating excitement among Filipino and Japanese earth scientists who expressed commitment to pursue this fresh science frontier for practical applications.

Interest in promoting the new field shaped up through a memorandum of understanding signed between Dr. Reynaldo Ebora, executive director of the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development and Dr. Kiyohumi Yumoto, director of the Space Environment Research Center in Japan’s Kyushu University.  They committed to work together to promote the “peaceful uses of seismo-electromagnetics research.”

PCASTRD and SERC pledged to collaborate on “matters of mutual interest” and hold activities that will provide opportunities for exchange of ideas, information, technology, and personnel. Such opportunities will include information-sharing, scientific visits, and joint research projects.

Seismo-electromagnetics is currently shaking conventional knowledge on earthquake prediction as it is hinged on the idea that earthquakes may now be possibly predicted using observed data on electromagnetic emissions from the earth’s surface.

The groundbreaking technology, also called “Lithosphere Weather Forecasting”, involves various disciplines such as radio physics, atmospheric physics, solid state physics, plasma physics, hydrology, geodynamics, and seismology.

In a seminar on seismo-electromagnetics held last year, radio physics expert Masashi Hayakawa of Japan’s University of Electro-Communications said “earthquakes are physical phenomena, and science should be able to offer some predictive systems on their future behavior.” 

Hayakawa’s research teams observed electromagnetic phenomena preceding large earthquakes and tried to find out the relationship of these phenomena and and possible physics.  In the course of his study, his research teams detected ultra-low frequency earthquake emissions that showed “convincing evidences of magnetic signature.”

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Estrella F. Alabastro stressed the need for a developing country like the Philippines to increase awareness and build national capacity on seismo-electromagnetics.  She also explained that the science community needs to develop customized solutions that are appropriate to the needs of the people and their localities.

“The sunrise science of seismo-electromagnetics definitely has a central role in providing early warning to communities at risk to earthquakes,” Estrella added.

PCASTRD is the Department of Science and Technology’s lead agency in promoting advanced science and technology fields including geosciences.   STP

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