IAGA/IASPEI/IAVCEI Working Group on Electromagnetic Studies of Earthquakes and Volcanoes


Changes in electromagnetic fields during earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have been clearly observed during the past few decades. More importantly, some of the more recent observations suggest that electromagnetic effects may also occur prior to these catastrophic events and, if a causal relationship can be demonstrated consistent with reasonable physical processes in the crust during these times, they might be used to anticipate these events. We identify the following as being of critical interest in this field of study:

  • New well-determined observations of electromagnetic fields and ionospheric disturbances during earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
  • Experiments that have been or might be done to test causality, or the lack thereof, between electromagnetic fields and earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
  • Physical mechanisms for the generation of electromagnetic fields under various boundary conditions that might explain these data, and how these various mechanisms might be independently identified in other geophysical or geochemical data.
  • Coupling mechanisms that could transform electromagnetic fields generated at the source of earthquake and volcanic activity into larger-scale electromagnetic disturbances.
  • Providing an international forum for cooperation between scientists in both developed and underdeveloped countries.
  • Stimulating studies in underdeveloped countries of electromagnetic effects arising from both earthquakes and volcanic activity.


  • Chairman: Jacques Zlotnicki (France)
  • Vice-chairman: Malcolm Johnston (USA)
  • Secretary: Toshiyasu Nagao (Japan)
  • IAGA Liaison: Jann-Yeng Liu (Taiwan)
  • IASPEI Liaison: Malcolm Johnston (USA)
  • IAVCEI Liaison: Yoichi Sasai (Japan)



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