Magnetoplasticity and the physics of earthquakes. Can a catastrophe be prevented?
Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Kosygina, 4, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
The reasons for the elastic energy accumulation in a lithospheric macroreactor — a seismic focus — are discussed. The nonlinear kinetics of the phenomena of an earthquake, a chain chemical explosion, and a nuclear explosion are analyzed. The transition from a stationary regime to an explosion in these three processes occurs as a critical phenomenon with critical parameters representing the concentrations of dislocations, active chemical centers, and neutrons, respectively. It is proposed to stimulate the slow relaxation of the elastic energy of the deformation stress of the seismic focus by low-frequency microwaves, which provide the accelerated motion of dislocations, reduce the yield limit, and increase plasticity. This phenomenon, known as magnetoplasticity in solid-state physics, can be used to keep the seismic focus far from a critical catastrophic regime by artificially stimulating its slow relaxation. The observed features of the influence of magnetic storms on the earthquake dynamics are in principle consistent with the concept of the stimulated magnetoplasticity of the seismic focus as a means to avoid a catastrophe.