Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 100: Jul-Aug 1995

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Kobe quake jostles the geo- magnetic field

Some luminous phenomena accompanying the January 17, 1995, Kobe earthquake were mentioned in SF#99. Geomagnetic perturbations were also recorded:

"At Kyoto University's observatory in Mineyama, the terrestrial magnetism suddenly changed in a southeasterly direction by up to 0.6 nanotesla, for 30 seconds, as the quake began at 5:46 a.m. on Jan. 17.


"A similar geomagnetic variation was also observed at the university's observatory in Shigaraki, but the variation was in the opposite, north-westerly, direction."

(Anonymous; "Changes in Geomagnetic Field Noted during Quake," Daily Yomiuri, March 30, 1995. Cr. N. Masuya)

Comment. Such clear-cut, earthquake-associated geomagnetic perturbations are rare. For a short history of the controversy, see GQM1 in the catalog volume: Earthquakes, Tides, etc. (Details here.) Evidently, strong earth currents are created when rocks fracture and slip, but the precise mechanism remains obscure.

From Science Frontiers #100, JUL-AUG 1995. 1995-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987