Time-scale invariant changes in atmospheric radon concentration and crustal strain prior to a large earthquake

Y. Kawada, H. Nagahama, Y. Omori, Y. Yasuoka, T. Ishikawa, S. Tokonami, M. Shinogi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prior to large earthquakes (e.g. 1995 Kobe earthquake, Japan), an increase in the atmospheric radon concentration is observed, and this increase in the rate follows a power-law of the time-to-earthquake (time-to-failure). This phenomenon corresponds to the increase in the radon migration in crust and the exhalation into atmosphere. An irreversible thermodynamic model including time-scale invariance clarifies that the increases in the pressure of the advecting radon and permeability (hydraulic conductivity) in the crustal rocks are caused by the temporal changes in the power-law of the crustal strain (or cumulative Benioff strain), which is associated with damage evolution such as microcracking or changing porosity. As the result, the radon flux and the atmospheric radon concentration can show a temporal power-law increase. The concentration of atmospheric radon can be used as a proxy for the seismic precursory processes associated with crustal dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalNonlinear Processes in Geophysics
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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