March 22, 2023
Radon theory in Italian quake discounted
PASADENA--Few seismologists are validating radon gas as a precursor of earthquakes.

An Italian researcher claims to have based his prediction of the recent quake that rocked Italy on radon emissions. Before the quake, he was reported to the police for scaremongering.

Dr. Tom Heaton at Cal Tech said they probed the radon theory in the 1970s. We discovered that things like radon seem to predict the weather better than it did earthquakes. The rate at which radon comes out of the ground is effected by atmospheric pressure.

Dr. Heaton says many factors come into play when trying to devise earthquake predictions.

We try to understand how earthquakes happen, and the more we understand about the earthquake process, the less predictable it looks.

Dr. Heaton emphasizes that no single indicator or combination of indicators has panned out as a reliable quake predictor.
Story Date: April 16, 2009
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