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More images from earthquake lab studies at Carnegie

gray granite in press
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Scientists soon hope to better assess the probability of large earthquakes several days in advance using data now available from satellites. Satellites are being used to detect telltale infrared emissions, electric and magnetic signals, and changes in the ionosphere that may occur days before large earthquakes.

A key laboratory experiment and data from international satellites have already provided evidence that some early earthquake signs are real. Friedemann Freund of NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.: co-investigators from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution, Washington, D.C., observed infrared emissions from blocks of granite when they were placed under tremendous stress with a 1,500-ton press.

The press mimicked what happens miles below the Earth's surface prior to earthquakes. A very sensitive, newly developed infrared camera from NASA Goddard snapped images of the rocks.

The Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) camera developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center was used to image the infrared emission emanating from granite rock being squeezed with a 1,500-ton press. These images show the increase of infrared emissions from the rock as the rock deforms.

Woman with QUIP camera. The QWIP camera is one of the most sensitive infrared imaging cameras ever developed. It is able to sense temperature differences of .02 degrees F. The QWIP imaging technology, which has flown in space, improves NASA's capability to observe Earth from space. Its major benefit is low cost, compared to existing infrared (IR) imaging technology. QWIP also can reach wavelengths that existing technology cannot reach, therefore enabling new applications, such as cancer detection.

gray granite crushed
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red granite in press
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red granite crushed
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woman with IR camera
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