The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: How could dogs detect impending earthquakes?  (Read 1514 times)

Online evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4131
  • Thanked: 249 times
    • View Profile
How could dogs detect impending earthquakes?
« on: 17/06/2015 22:22:54 »
One segment of the Naked Scientists podcast mentioned a study which suggested that some dogs could predict earthquakes (start 1 minute into the audio).
The suggestion was made that dogs with impaired hearing did not change their behaviour, including dogs with floppy ears - these may not have been able to hear the low rumblings preceding an earthquake.

I suggest that dogs with furry, floppy ears would be just as good at detecting low-frequency sound, but would be impaired at detection of ultrasound (which has a much more a line-of-sight characteristic than infrasound).

Could we have got it wrong? Seismographs are looking for low-frequency rumbles, but could the precursors to an earthquake be cracks propagating through rocks, emitting ultrasonic frequencies?

(I'm not sure if this question belongs under Zoology or Geology...)


 

Offline Colin2B

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1921
  • Thanked: 125 times
    • View Profile
Re: How could dogs detect impending earthquakes?
« Reply #1 on: 18/06/2015 08:52:50 »
Could we have got it wrong? Seismographs are looking for low-frequency rumbles, but could the precursors to an earthquake be cracks propagating through rocks, emitting ultrasonic frequencies?

(I'm not sure if this question belongs under Zoology or Geology...)
When I saw the title my thought was elephants can detect LF through ground at long distances. My mother in law is profoundly deaf but can feel people walking behind her!
Ultrasonics is interesting, chalk on blackboard effect? I need to get out my bat detector when the next earthquake is due. Surprised if no one has noticed ultrasonics before.
?do dogs with floppy ears have poorer hearing?
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 334
    • View Profile
Re: How could dogs detect impending earthquakes?
« Reply #2 on: 19/06/2015 00:02:09 »
Forget dogs.

There was a BBC iPlayer show (10 things you didn't know about earthquakes?) that people saw flashes of light in the night sky during the Napa quake last August. It was explained by piezioelectric discharges in the bed rock.

Here is a webcam shot of the Napa quake showing the flashes.


At the time of those flashes, I was hanging on to the edge of the table 40 miles away and wondering whether I should get under the table. I wasn't looking out the window.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: How could dogs detect impending earthquakes?
« Reply #2 on: 19/06/2015 00:02:09 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums