Measurement of stress accumulation at depth could serve as the basis for predicting earthquakes. Based on laboratory measurements of rock samples, stress accumulation in the earth can be estimated from changes in the compressional velocity of seismic waves traversing the stressed region, provided the travel times can be determined with precision. An initial field experiment performed in the Gabilan Range near Salinas, California, using 100-kilogram charges, demonstrated that seismic energy could be reliably detected up to 42 kilometers away, that the character of the recorded signal was closely repeatable for successive shots, and that the precision of timing was better than ±1 millisecond.

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