Active Member
This theory is an older one I saw via a youtube clip I came across accidently. It's a classic History channel conspiracy program discussing HAARP and chemtrails. One of it's primary proposed theories is that "ELF" or Extremely Low Frequency waves can cause earthquakes and this is what Ionosphere heaters are capable of whether by purpose or accidentally. Obviously we've covered Ionosphere heaters in previous posts. But the theory and experiment proposed in this clip had me curious to share here for a debunking and or explanation.

(The video clip can be found below for anyone that would like to see it)

(The experiment aspect begins at 1:54 ending at 3:45)

The idea is that just like subwoofers in a speaker that can be felt by people through it's vibrations, ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) waves that come from Ionosphere heaters like HAARP (even thought its closed down) or other proposed sources, are powerful enough at the right frequency to cause vibrations in the earth that can cause an earthquake.

In his experiment, the presenter a Dr. Brooks Agnew from the Phoenix Science Foundation, begins with a story about how when he used to use ELF waves while doing work in earth tomography to look for oil. Supposedly he claims that he caused an earthquake on multiple occasions when doing this. Then he begins his experiment with a small scale model basically having a piece of rock on an incline with sand surrounding it and then blasting this with 30 Watt Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) waves. In his model, blasting the rock on the surface and surrounding sand with these vibrations is enough for it to slide down the incline as the vibrations cause the surface and sand to fluctuate. A nice little demonstration and all, but at such a small scale can this really replicate anything that could be possible in true scale? He concludes with his theory that ELF waves from ionosphere heaters are bouncing back to earth and the vibrations are causing fault lines to shift thus causing an earthquake... I just feel this experiment was somewhat lacking. I feel that something at the small scale in which is being presented is not necessarily a proper representation. That's where I'm curious and had to question the theory here.

There are other proposed ideas put forward in this video too on cloud seeding and other subjects covered here. Has anybody seen this clip before? We can add lots of info to the site with a good pick apart on this clip and proposed theory. :)

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
ELF waves are radio waves. They don't vibrate. While a low frequency, high amplitude sound wave could theoretically dislodge a stone on an incline, I can't see how an EM wave could.


Senior Member.
The ELF waves produced in the ionosphere by specific patterns of excitation of electrons are electromagnetic waves, not sound waves. I'm not even sure if sound waves can travel through such a low density medium as the ionosphere.

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
Given that the ionosphere is where conventional definitions of temperature start to break down due to rarification, it seems unlikely.


It seems that sound waves can exist, sort of. However, igven that the waves described are driven by temperature differential and have periods "on the order of 10's of minutes" (<1/600 Hz) they seem minimally applicable to the current thread.
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Senior Member.
HAARP was used to heat the ionosphere a little bit. When electromagnetic waves heat something they are being absorbed, not reflected as suggested in this video clip.


Senior Member.
The ELF waves produced in the ionosphere by specific patterns of excitation of electrons are electromagnetic waves, not sound waves. I'm not even sure if sound waves can travel through such a low density medium as the ionosphere.

Strictly speaking, sound can travel through the interstellar medium, we can even see runaway stars producing conical shockwaves. After a certain point it's only "sound" in the academic sense of a pressure wave propagating through matter, of course.

As to the claim: Even if it were possible, there's simply not enough power by several orders of magnitude. HAARP heated the ionosphere by fairly small amounts. Even assuming the same thermal energy could be added to rock (which it can't - HAARP is similar to a microwave oven in that it doesn't heat materials equally, which is why it doesn't cause temperature spikes in the trophosphere or stratosphere column between it and the ionosphere), rock is tens of thousands of times denser and that same thermal energy would raise its temperature by a tiny fraction of a degree.

We do have a few technologies capable of causing very minor earthquakes, but none of them are remote. The best one, hydraulic fracturing, has been confirmed to cause earthquakes up to magnitude 3, which is comparable to a passing truck. The destructive potential of such earthquakes is limited knocking poorly hung pictures askew (you can protect yourself by using two-point hangers - no tinfoil needed!), which is why even scientists who oppose the practice rarely cite earthquakes as a reasonable concern (that's a job reserved for the clickbait media).

In short: We don't live in Star Trek. Our ability to affect the entire planet is very limited. It took the combined waste output of our entire species well over a century to change the climate as little as we have and its taken us thousands of years of dedicated slaughter and chopping to kick off one of the most minor extinction events in the last hundred million years, and these HAARP theories would have us doing every bit as much as all that on a whim any given day of the week.
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Senior Member.
Not knowing anything about this subject, i dont even see a debunk. Just a bunch of people saying 'no'.

The debunk is that Dr Agnew uses a speaker to replicate the ELF waves to produce an earthquake. ELF waves from the ionosphere are electromagnetic not sound. A bit like replacing your stereo speakers at home with wifi and expecting to be able to still listen to your favourite Donny Osmond LP


Senior Member.
Not knowing anything about this subject, i dont even see a debunk. Just a bunch of people saying 'no'.

OK. Well, in addition to all of the above... The picture of the antennas on the alleged ELF transmitter that was said to be used for seismic tomography in oil and gas exploration is not capable of producing ELF electromagnetic waves because those wavelengths are at least tens of miles long and the antenna would have to be a minimum whole fraction, like on the order of 1/4 of the wavelength, in order to transmit ELF radio waves. That is one of the challenges in transmitting ELF radio, the length of the antenna. Another is that seismic tomography doesn't even probe the ground with radio waves, it's a method of analysing either naturally occurring seismic p- and s- waves or artificial shock waves produced by high explosives. The way the waves propagate through the crust provides an image of the underlying geology. Multiple seismic monitors are involved in the analysis and in the case of oil and gas exploration, remote seismic monitors equipped with radio transmitters are strategically placed around the area being explored and the data is transmitted in real time to a central location for analysis. The antennas on that seismic monitor are for transmitting the data, not for probing the ground with ELF waves. Simply turning the unit on would in no way produce an earthquake. If a quake occurred somewhere in the region about that time in the spring of 1987 it was purely coincidental. Not to mention that ridiculously oversimplified "model" of the Cascadia subduction zone.

According to the USGS archive, there was not a 4.5 earthquake with an epicenter near Roseburg, OR during the period between 01/01/1987 and 07/31/1987 (LINK)... however there were several that were centred well offshore on the Juan de Fuca plate and I doubt those were even felt in Roseburg.
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Active Member
The debunk is that Dr Agnew uses a speaker to replicate the ELF waves to produce an earthquake. ELF waves from the ionosphere are electromagnetic not sound. A bit like replacing your stereo speakers at home with wifi and expecting to be able to still listen to your favourite Donny Osmond LP

Haha! Very true. That's why I was so confused especially considering he did it with a scale model that does not properly replicate earths structure too...


Active Member
@Mick West Cheers for the link on Agnew. So it turns out there is a lot of lying he seems to be doing... Awkward. Thanks for the contributions too everyone. Thought this would be an interesting one to share. =]
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