Earth Science Frontiers ›› 2020, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (5): 207-217.DOI: 10.13745/j.esf.sf.2020.5.61

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Relationship between the effects of mineral thermoelectricity and abnormal geoelectricity

SHEN Junfeng1(), SHEN Xuhui2, LI Shengrong1, XU Liwei1, DU Baisong1, WANG Dongli1, WANG Shuhao1   

  1. 1. School of Earth Science and Resources, China University of Geosciences(Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
    2. The Institute of Crustal Dynamics, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100085, China
  • Received:2019-09-10 Revised:2019-11-12 Online:2020-09-25 Published:2020-09-25


There are much more semiconductor minerals in the Earth crust due to inhomogeneous crustal composition and complex physico-chemical environments during mineralization. One of the important characteristics of semiconductor minerals is the multiple potential charge carrier in the crystal because of confounding composition or improper arrangement of atoms. And the potential charge carriers can be activated and move directionally in the crystal driven by temperature gradient field, causing larger thermal disturbance so that thermoelectric potential occurs. This phenomenon is called the thermoelectric effect. Generally, a notably disturbed thermal field often appears under earthquake gestation or during an earthquake, and the temperature difference produced from the thermal field will stimulate the semiconductor minerals to generate the thermoelectric effects and convert thermal energy into electric energy. Therefore we hypothesize that the thermoelectric effects may contribute to the abnormal geoelectric field, which is one of important forewarnings for the volcanic eruption and earthquake, that is, the thermoelectricity model may be valid during volcanic eruption and earthquake. This realization is enlightening for understanding the abnormal geoelectric phenomenon forewarning potential volcanic eruption and earthquake.

Key words: semiconductor minerals, potential charge carrier, thermoelectric effect, abnormal geoelectric field, volcanic eruption and earthquake, abnormal forewarning

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