January 1, 2010.
Before large earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the increased stress and temperature activates electronic charge carriers within the Earth’s crust. The charge carriers can diffuse out of the stressed rock and travel for kilometers throughout the surround rocks. Once at the Earth’s surface, the charge carriers can react in a variety of processes – which can be detected remotely. One process involves the charge carriers releasing energy as infrared emissions – which are detected in satellites as “thermal infrared anomalies.” Our experiment involves stressing large blocks of basic rocks with expanding cement and detecting the infrared emissions. We will focus on how the thermal infrared band is distributed spatially over the rock and how the emission changes as a function of time during build-up of stress until the rock breaks.
Friedemann T. Freund