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Dr. Friedmann Freund is part of a team who recently published an academic paper documenting the reaction of birds and small mammals to changes in the earth in the run-up weeks to a large earthquake in Peru.

He has been researching this topic for some time. NASA discusses his earlier work:
‘RESTLESS EARTH’ MAY GIVE ADVANCE NOTICE OF LARGE EARTHQUAKES Dec. 7, 2001, by John Bluck, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. RELEASE: 01-100AR

Signals that come from deep within the Earth eventually may give us a few days’ warning before some large earthquakes, according to a scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

The source of these signals lies deep in the Earth’s crust, where forces squeeze rocks to the limit before they rupture catastrophically, shaking the ground with destructive force, according to Friedemann Freund, a scientist at NASA Ames, in California’s Silicon Valley. He will present his discoveries and theory on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 1:30 p.m. PST in the seismology section of Hall D, Moscone Center, San Francisco, during the 2001 American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting.

“The challenge is to learn how to read and to decipher the signals,” Freund said. “The best way is to try to better understand the physics of the processes that underlie these signals. A step forward was the discovery of dormant electric charges in rocks in the Earth’s crust,” he said.

Earthquakes occur when tectonic plates, huge jigsaw-like sections of the Earth’s outermost layers, rub against each other. Sometimes they collide head-on. In California, huge slabs of rock slide past each other, causing temblors along the San Andreas and other fault systems.

Freund has been investigating how rocks respond to stress. “If the stress level is high, electronic charges appear that momentarily turn the insulating rock into a semiconductor,” he said. Semiconductors are materials that have a level of electrical conductivity between that of a metal and an insulator, and they are used to make transistors.

“These charges are not easy to pin down. They move with impressive speed, as fast as 300 meters (1,000 ft.) per second,” he said. By measuring the semiconductor properties of the rocks, Freund was able to show that the charges are positive. “Normally, these charges are dormant,” he said. “But when rocks are squeezed, the charges wake up and flow out of the rock volume in which they were generated.”

When charges flow, they constitute an electric current. When there is an electric current, there also is a magnetic field. If current varies with time, electromagnetic waves will be emitted.

“The frequency of these electromagnetic waves will probably be very low, much lower than radio waves, but basically of the same nature,” said Freund. “Scientists can pick them at the Earth’s surface with suitable antennae or by measuring the magnetic-field pulses that go with them.”

“What happens when the charges reach the Earth’s surface? They will change ‘the ground,'” said Freund. “They should cause the Earth’s surface to become positively charged over a region that may measure tens or even hundreds of kilometers. The Earth’s ionosphere is bound to react,” he said.

The ionosphere lies above the atmosphere, starting at about 90 km (56 mi.) and extending to about 300 km (190 mi.) into space. “When the surface of the Earth becomes positively charged, the charged plasma in the ionosphere must respond,” said Dimitar Ouzounov, a scientist from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., who is working with Freund. The ionospheric plasma is very thin air that contains many free electrons and positive ions. In the lowest layers of the ionosphere, which reflect radio waves, the plasma is positively charged.

When the Earth’s surface becomes positively charged, the plasma is pushed aside, and energetic electrons from the upper layers can penetrate more deeply into the lower part of the ionosphere. This in turn affects the transmission of radio waves, especially in the short wave region, as was noticed in the 1960s, in the days before the huge 1961 Chilean earthquake and the nearly equally large Good Friday earthquake in Alaska in 1964.

“These ionospheric changes can also be studied from satellites. Russia, France and Japan are close to launching satellites dedicated to investigating these phenomena,” Freund said.

“But what has been lacking in the past was a physical explanation of how electric charges can be created in the Earth’s crust,” said Freund. “These are charges that move around, emit all kinds of signals, and can even reach the Earth’s surface. There they give rise locally to very high electric fields, and change ‘the ground’ charge.”

“When the rocks in the Earth’s crust crackle and buckle under the onslaught of tectonic forces, the charges that are dormant in them are set free. They give rise to a dazzling array of phenomena, long known to mankind and even part of folklore in earthquake-prone regions around the globe,” said Freund. “These phenomena range from anomalous electric and magnetic signals, to ‘earthquake lights’ that illuminate the mountain tops and strange animal behavior as well as ionospheric effects that impact how radio waves travel over long distances.”

“It is both surprising and comforting that many seemingly disjointed or even inexplicable phenomena that point to impending earthquake activity seem to have just one cause — the awaking and spreading of normally dormant charges in the rocks deep in the Earth,” he said.

“It is much too early and, in fact, unwise to expect that earthquakes would soon become predictable beyond the statistical probability that is currently the state-of-the-art,” Freund said. “But one day, we’ll learn to read the signals that the restless Earth emits before the rocks rupture with deadly force.” -endhttp://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2001/01-100AR.html (Emphasis our own)

Changes in animal activity could help forecast earthquakes
May 20, 2015, By José Tadeu Arantes
Study conducted in Peru’s Yanachaga National Park correlates changes in behavior of birds and small mammals with atmospheric ionization caused by rock friction deep underground
” Read article here: http://agencia.fapesp.br/changes_in_animal_activity_could_help_forecast_earthquakes_/21177/

Changes in animal activity prior to a major (M = 7) earthquake in the Peruvian Andes“, by Rachel A. Grant, Jean Pierre Raulin, Friedemann T. Freund, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C (The abstract may be found online).

The above article actually documents changes in the weeks before the Peruvian earthquake. However, for around a year, in the run-up to the 2011 Japan earthquake, there were many reported sightings of Oarfish: “From December 2009 to March 2010, unusual numbers of the slender oarfish Regalecus russelii (竜宮の使い “Ryūgū-No-Tsukai”,) known in Japanese folklore as the Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace, appeared in the waters and on the beaches of Japan, the appearance of which is said to portend earthquakes… Scientists claim that oarfish can be the cause for “Nessie Sightings”, because when they are sick or dying, they float near the surface of the water.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oarfish
1996 US Navy Oarfish
1996 and shows a giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne) found on the shore of the Pacific Ocean near San Diego, California. This extremely rare specimen was 23 ft (7.0 m) long and weighed 300 lb (140 kg). Source http://www.navy. mil/ah_online/archpdf/ah199704.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oarfish

On March 6, 2010, almost exactly one year before the Japan megaquake of March 11, 2011, in “Sea serpents’ arrival puzzling, or portentous?“, Daiki Yamamoto reported in the Japan Times: “A rarely seen deep-sea fish regarded as something of a mystery has been giving marine experts food for thought recently after showing up in large numbers along the Sea of Japan coast… An old saying has it that the fish comes to the beach as an omen of a big earthquake. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2010/03/06/national/sea-serpents-arrival-puzzling-or-portentous

Recently,”Mysterious oarfish of the deep washes up on California island” Posted:Wed, 03 Jun 2015 23:52:19 GMT http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/Lk7iNeohnkA/story01.htm It washed up a day or two after one of the largest deep earthquakes ever struck off of Japan. Such very deep earthquakes can be felt very far away. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us20002ki3#general_summary There were also several large earthquakes along the Oregon coast a day before it was found. A couple of oarfish washed up on the California coast in 2013, as well.

According to Timothy Takemoto’s Flickr page: “Japanese academic has theorised that they come into shallow waters when tectonic plate movement generates electricity, which somehow affects the fish which are typically 3 meters in length, ” “Deep Sea Fish and the Next Japanese Earthquake? Uploaded on February 9, 2013” According to another image, which he posted, it is known as the earthquake fish and is known to come to the surface before earthquakes.
Deep Sea Fish and the Next Japanese Earthquake? February 9, 2013 www.flickr.com/photos/nihonbunka/8456913433/  Timothy Takemoto- CC BY-NC 2.0
https://www.flickr. com/photos/nihonbunka/8456913433/ Timothy Takemoto-nihonbunka, CC BY-NC 2.0

Lead author Rachel Grant of the Peruvian study, from Anglia Ruskin University, discusses some changes which could result in the oar fish coming out of the depths: “It’s theoretically possible because when an earthquake occurs there can be a build-up of pressure in the rocks which can lead to electrostatic charges that cause electrically-charged ions to be released into the water… This can lead to the formation of hydrogen peroxide, which is a toxic compound. The charged ions can also oxidise organic matter which could either kill the fish or force them to leave the deep ocean and rise to the surface.” Read more explanation here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/waiting-for-the-big-one-giant-oarfish-start-shock-waves-in-la-8899812.html

Hydrogen peroxide is also a by-product of radiolysis. See Table 2 of p. 29 of Václav Čuba et. al. below [1], which shows that hydrogen peroxide is produced by both Low LET radiation, such as gamma, and High LET radiation, such as plutonium. Tritium can also produce hydrogen peroxide by radiolysis.[2]

Not only is Fukushima continuing to dump radioactive water into the Pacific, but there are a couple of old nuclear waste dumps off the California coast, as well, along with nuclear subs and nuclear sub dismantlement.

[1] Václav Čuba, Viliam Múčka and Milan Pospíšil (2012). “Radiation Induced Corrosion of Nuclear Fuel and Materials, Advances in Nuclear Fuel“, Dr. Shripad T. Revankar (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0042-3, InTech, Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/advances-in-nuclear-fuel/radiation-induced-corrosion-of- nuclear-fuel-and-materials

[2] “Self-radiolysis of tritiated water. 3. The ˙OH scavenging effect of bromide ions on the yield of H2O2 in the radiolysis of water by 60Co γ-rays and tritium β-particles at room temperature” Shayla Mustaree, Jintana Meesungnoen, Sofia Loren Butarbutar, Patrick Causey, Craig R. Stuartc and Jean-Paul Jay-Gerin* RSC Advances Issue 82, 2014