Feb. 6, 2018 -- China's first seismo-electromagnetic satellite Zhangheng 1 launched on Feb. 2 is a significant complementary to the country's ability in the study of seismic precursors, said Shen Xuhui, chief scientist of the satellite.
"China is one of the world's worst-hit areas for earthquakes, featuring wide distribution, high intensity, and shallow focal point," Shen noted.
Ground monitoring stations used to be the major devices for China's seismic surveillance. The incapability of such stations in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the marine regions restricted the development of the country's seismic studies, Shen explained.
Research shows that earthquakes can trigger variation of electromagnetic information across the globe. With broad coverage, an excellent electromagnetic environment, and strong dynamic information, the seismo-electromagnetic satellite will greatly improve the understanding of seismic precursors.
"The satellite can achieve real-time transfer of high-energy particles data, such as electromagnetic fields and ionized stratum, offering researchers stable and continuous support by big data," the chief scientist said.
It will help record global earthquake cases and make earthquake inspections more likely, he added.