Q : Do solar flares or magnetic storms (space weather) cause earthquakes?

A: Solar flares and magnetic storms belong to a set of phenomena known collectively as "space weather". Technological systems and the activities of modern civilization can be affected by changing space-weather conditions. However, it has never been demonstrated that there is a causal relationship between space weather and earthquakes. Indeed, over the course of the Sun's 11-year variable cycle, the occurrence of flares and magnetic storms waxes and wanes, but earthquakes occur without any such 11-year variability. Since earthquakes are driven by processes in the Earth's interior, they would occur even if solar flares and magnetic storms were to somehow cease occurring. (contributed by Dr. Jeffrey Love)


There is strong evidence of electromagnetic processes responsible for earthquake triggering, that we study extensively. We will focus here on one correlation between power in solar wind compressional fluctuations and power in magnetospheric pulsations and ground H component fluctuations. The variation of the horizontal component H of the geomagnetic field is the crucial parameter in the Magneto-Seismic Effect MSE to be discussed in a companion paper. The connection of earthquake activity to possible solar or solar wind drivers is not well understood; many authors have attempted correlations in the past with mixed results.
Geophysical Research Abstracts,Vol.8,01705, 2006;Lab for Solar and Space Physics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,Greenbelt, MD

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