Science and technological developments: article

HEATING MECHANISM OF ELECTROMAGNETIC TRIGGERING OF EARTHQUAKES: NUMERICAL ESTIMATES AND LABORATORY STUDY
V.A. Novikov 1,2 D.S. Kulkov 3 S.V. Parov 3 I.P. Gorynin 3
1 Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences 2 Sadovsky Institute of Geosphere Dynamics of the Russian Academy of Sciences 3 Research Station of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Journal: Science and technological developments
Tome: 102
Number: 2-3
Year: 2023
Pages: 89–112
UDK: 550.37+550.34+001.891.57
DOI: 10.21455/std2023.2-3-4
Full text
Keywords: electromagnetic triggering of earthquakes, Joule heating of fluid, pore pressure, triggering effect
Аnnotation: Despite a large amount of field experiments and observations, as well as laboratory studies confirming the electromagnetic triggering of earthquakes, the physical mechanism of this phenomenon is still unclear, which inhibits its practical use in reducing seismic hazards, both for artificial electromagnetic discharge of tectonic stresses, and for short-term earthquake prediction based on electromagnetic triggering action of strong variations of the natural geomagnetic field on the impending earthquake area. In this paper the hypothesis of thermal triggering mechanism of an influence of electric current on porous fluid-saturated rock is considered, when Joule heating of fluid in pores and cracks leads to increase of pore fluid pressure and decrease of effective strength of rock. Numerical estimates of current flow in a porous fluid-saturated medium show that the increase in the temperature of the fluid and, as a result, its pressure in the pores may be a few percents, which can explain the triggering effect of electric current, when the geological medium is under a sub-critical stress-strain state. These results have been confirmed in laboratory experiments with compressed samples. Numerical estimates and laboratory experiments demonstrate that the hypothesis of thermal triggering effect of electric current on rocks can be accepted for further development under conditions of laboratory experiments on press equipment and spring- block facilities simulated seismogenic crust fault to determine the threshold values of electric current in the fracture under subcritical stress-strained state resulting in a triggering effect.
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