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Title: Influence of seismic activity in the atmospheric electrical field in Lisbon (Portugal) from 1961 until 1991,
Authors: Serrano, C.
Silva, Hugo
Reis, A. H.
Bezzeghoud, Mourad
Rosa, R.
Borges, José
Caldeira, Bento
Tlemçan, M.
Oliveira, Manuela
Keywords: electromagnetic seismic precursors
preparatory stage of earthquakes
atmospheric electric field perturbations
radon emanations
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: PGUE2011- Fifth Meeting of Post-Graduation in Physics and Earth Sciences of University of Évora
Abstract: The atmospheric electric field (AEF) can be influenced by different factors like cosmic radiation, radioactivity and aerosols [1]. Two innovative works have shown the possibility of enhanced air ionization, with consequent AEF perturbations, in the preparatory stage of earthquakes (EQ): Freund et al. [2] base their arguments on charge separation generated in the stressed volume followed by positive charges flow that reach surface and ionize the air within the boundary layer; Harrison et al. [3] relate possible AEF anomalies during the EQ preparation with surface air ionization through radon emanations. It is clear that AEF plays a role in many of the studied electromagnetic seismic precursors, but systematic pre-earthquake AEF measurements are still lacking. There are reports of AEF anomalies [4], but no clear conclusions could yet be drawn. Hence we believe that in near future a deeper inspection of AEF is required since it could be vital for a better comprehension of these phenomena. Here we consider hourly values of the AEF recorded at Portela-Lisbon meteorological station (38º47’N, 9º08’W) in the period 1961–1991. They were recorded with a Benndorff electrograph at 1m-height probe. The data series was interrupted in 1975–1977 when the electrometer was switched off for maintenance. The continuous and reliable data of AEF observed are used to study the correlation between possible anomalies in AEF and occurrence of eleven EQ with magnitude (M) above three. These verify the condition that the distance between the AFE sensor to the EQ epicentre lies inside the EQ preparation radius [5]: (1) The influences of meteorological variables (relative humidity, precipitation, wind intensity and cloudiness) are considered too. We also analyze the atmospheric radon concentration in the same period since radon is important to estimate the alteration of the AEF conditions in response to the crustal behaviour. In fact, EQ’s originate many factures in the Earth surface that create many pathways for radon in the crust thus enhancing its migration [6], which may lead to the enormous release into the atmosphere and consequently decrease in the AEF. We are just starting a very careful study and for the moment we do not have clear proves to confirm or denied an EQ-AEF correlation. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that a previous case study has given interesting results [7]. References [1] Serrano, C., Reis, A.H., Rosa, R., and Lucio, P.S.: Influences of cosmic radiation, artificial radioactivity and aerosol concentration upon the fair-weather atmospheric electric field in Lisbon (1955–1991), Atmospheric Research 81, 236, 2006. [2] Freund, F.T., Kulahci, I.G., Cyr, G., Ling, J., Winnick, M., Tregloan-Reed, J., Freund, M.M.: Air ionization at rock surfaces and pre-earthquake signals, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 1824, 2009. [3] Harrison, R.G., Aplin, K.L., and Rycroft, M.J.: Atmospheric electricity coupling between earthquake regions and the ionosphere, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72, 376, 2010. [4] Kachakhidze, N. Kachakhidze, M., Kereselidze, Z., and Ramishvili, G.: Specific variations of the atmospheric electric field potential gradient as a possible precursor of Caucasus earthquakes, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1221, 2009. [5] Dobrovolsky,I.P., Zubkov,S.I., and Miachkin,V.I.: Estimation of the size of earthquake preparation zones, Pure Appl. Geophys. 117, 1025, 1979. [6] Kawada, Y., Nagahama, H., Omori, Y., Yasuoka, Y., Ishikawa, T., Tokonami, S., Shinogi, M.: Time-scale invariant changes in atmospheric radon concentration and crustal strain prior to a large earthquake. Nonlin. Processes. Geophys. 14, 123, 2007. [7] Silva, H.G., Bezzeghoud, M., Reis, A.H., Rosa, R.N., Tlemçani, M., Araújo, A.A., Serrano, C., Borges, J.F., Caldeira, B. and Biagi, P.F.: Atmospheric electrical field anomalies associated with seismic activity (submitted to NHESS).
Type: lecture
Appears in Collections:FIS - Comunicações - Em Congressos Científicos Nacionais

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