Welcome to the home page of the FP7 funded project SEMEP.
SEMEP, the Search for ElectroMagnetic Earthquake Precursors, was an EU FP7 funded project in response to the FP7-SPACE-2010-1 call for collaborative projects between the EU and Russia. The project began on December 1st, 2010 and ran for two years, until November 30th, 2012.
The search for earthquake related phenomena using satellite observations has an evident advantage. The availability of planet wide observations enable the possibility of performing global surveys of the ionosphere, looking for possible electromagnetic perturbation effects that arise due to seismic activity. This information could help to pinpoint regions of strong seismic activity, determine their extent, and provide indicators and inputs for the short term forecast of the occurrance of an earthquake.
However, ground based measurements are also necessary when investigating their relationship between ionospheric perturbations and seismic and volcanic activity because this is the only way to connect the physical processes in the crust with the signals recorded by the satellite.
The main concept of the project was to investigate electromagnetic phenomena related to large earthquakes in the global lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere coupled system using simultaneous satellite and ground-based observations. The seismo-electromagnetic effects observed are perturbations in the electric and magnetic fields that may be caused by natural geophysical activity such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Such effects include:
- electromagnetic emissions in a large frequency range,
- perturbations of ionospheric layers,
- anomalies on the records of VLF (Very Low Frequency) transmitter signals,
- night airglow observations.
Such phenomena are of great interest because they have been observed to begin several days before the main shock. As a consequence they could be used, in conjunction with other precursory effects, to provide short-term forecasts for the occurrance of large earthquakes.