Thanks Gavin

- August 26, 2006 -

Gavin Pretor-Pinney, web master of the Cloud Appreciation Society, UK [1], and cofounder of The Idler magazine [2], wrote me about earthquake clouds in May, 2005. After November, 2005, he also wrote me, but I could not read his messages because I was in China. He published a book The Cloudspotter's Guide by Perigee Books in New York recently. This book introduces many clouds, including my work on earthquake cloud and earthquake prediction, especially the Afghanistan cloud and the Bam cloud and their predictions [3] . The book reveals an interesting comment of Dr. Lucy Jones , Scientist-in-Charge of the Pasadena Field Office of the United States Geological Survey, "Only Mr. Shou thinks there is any relationship between clouds and earthquakes happening 10km below the surface of the earth". Then, it debates for me, "His theories might not be as ridiculous as she makes out, however." Thanks Gavin. I believe in that a truth will win finally.

It is very interesting that Lucy looks many scientists, government officers, media[4], including Seminars of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, and people who believe in my theory as nobody. Therefore, I have to defend. In later 1994, I discussed with a seismologist of Lucy's station, supporter of Lucy's view. After making sure of if I thought that small earthquakes produced crevices for water penetration of a large earthquake, he told me that the USGS had perfect records of the Northridge earthquake, and nothing was before it. I was surprised, and he smiled. Immediately, I showed him a table of 79 earthquakes within 10 km around and before the Northridge earthquake from their records. Then, he was speechless and complained about his colleagues for giving him wrong information.

Since Lucy still does not know how earthquake vapor can come from a depth of 10 km or over, I suggest reading our Bam Earthquake Prediction & Space Technology (Bam Paper)[5], and trying to explain how the Bam cloud emerged suddenly from a fixed line for 24 hours, and how the Bam earthquake at a depth of 10km happened in the fixed line coincidentally. Moreover, I would like to show her a chart of the 79 earthquakes in depth around the Northridge hypocenter at 18.4km [6]. They produced crevices for water penetration that made the Northridge earthquake cloud emerged suddenly like a launching rocket [7] from underground northwestward of Pasadena and the Northridge earthquake happened exactly in the same direction later. Now, I would like to invite Dr. Lucy Jones to show her evidence in our web site about why she thinks no relationship between the Bam cloud and the Bam earthquake or the Northridge cloud and the Northridge earthquake.

Lucy may addict to their aftershock theory[8], dependent on Utsu's vague terminology, "It is often observed that a number of earthquakes occur in a group within a limited interval of time and space. The largest earthquake in such a series is called the mainshock, and smaller ones occurring before and after the mainshock are called foreshocks and aftershocks respectively."[9] Once, I asked a chief of the USGS about how long aftershocks could exist. He admired it as a good question. I also asked him about how to call two earthquakes A and B nearby and A before B in three cases: A>B, A=B, and A< B. He replied that A was a mainshock and B was an aftershock in the first case; B was a mainshock and A was a foreshock in the third case, and a big surprising if A=B existed. Immediately, I gave him four couples, one of which was two M6.6 Iceland earthquakes: one on 17 June 2000 and the other on 21 June, which have been the largest there since 1912. He was at a loss for words. There are more questions, but the two questions already disprove Utsu's definition, and Lucy's theory. Lucy may claim that Nature published their theory, but Nature is not the God. It could make mistakes, even a grammar mistake, e.g. " 'If it wasn't for this human-induced motion, we'd already have a complete picture of what's going on,' says earthquake scientist ..."[10]

Gavin visited me in New York City, and sent me his book. This book is valuable to read. However, I would like to mention a little misunderstanding of "He does not claim to have a clear understanding of how quakes might affect the clouds." In China, I three times revealed my PowerPoint to many experts of the Disaster Prediction Committee, the Analysis and Predicting Center of the Chinese Seismological Bureau, and the Geological Institute of the Chinese Seismological Bureau in Beijing, and everybody understood my points. A problem is that reading a paper does not mean understanding it completely sometimes, e.g. Mr. Chen had read my papers of Earthquake Clouds, a reliable precursor [11]. and Bam Paper[4] , but he was surprised when I showed him my dehydration chart[12] and Fig. 10 of Practical Handbook of Physical Properties of Rocks and Minerals, unable to copy in the both papers. Moreover, I was unable to read Gavin's message in China. Thus, I just mention this problem without any blame.


  1. The Cloud Appreciation Society
  2. The Idler magazine
  3. Gavin Pretor-Pinney It Is Hardly Controversial The Cloudspotter's Guide, 189-193 (Perigee Books , New York, 2006) p189-193
  4. Media reported my work
  5. Darrell Harrington & Zhonghao Shou Bam Earthquake Prediction & Space Technology Seminars of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications16, 39-63 (2005).
  6. Northridge Depth
  7. The Northridge Earthquake Cloud, taken by Shou from Pasadena, California on Jan. 8, 1994
  8. Gerstenberger, M.C. Wiemer, S. Jones, L. M. & Reasenberg, P. A. Real-time forecasts of tomorrow's earthquakes in California. Nature 435 328-331 (2005)
  9. Reasenberg, P. A. & Jones, L. M. Earthquake Hazard After a Mainshock in California. Science 243 1173-1175 (1989)
  10. Clarke, T. Water thrown on earthquake prediction Nature 23 August 2001
  11. Zhonghao Shou. Earthquake Clouds, a reliable precursor. Science & Utopya 64, 53~57 (1999)
  12. Dehydration

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