Articles | Volume 1, issue 1/2
30 Jun 2001
30 Jun 2001

ULF/ELF emissions observed in Japan, possibly associated with the Chi-Chi earthquake in Taiwan

K. Ohta, K. Umeda, N. Watanabe, and M. Hayakawa

Abstract. ULF/ELF emission observation has been performed at Nakatsugawa observatory (geographic coordinates; 35.4° N, 137.5° E, Gifu prefecture) since January 1999. The equipment consists of three-orthogonal magnetic sensors (induction coils), amplifiers, A/D converters and the data logger with a computer. The frequency range of observation is from 0.001 Hz to 50 Hz. The serious changes in ELF magnetic field intensity were detected on 20 September 1999, in such a way that the ELF noise level is found to increase by more than 5 dB from the normal level for about 1.5 h during 21:30–23:00 Japanese Standard Time on 20 September and also the upper limit extends up to 50 Hz. A careful comparison with the nearby lightning as detected by VLF, enables us to confirm that this abnormal ELF noise level increase is not due to the nearby lightning. The phase difference of these ELF emissions (BX , BY) was measured, and indicates that these ELF emissions are linearly polarized, suggesting that they have propagated in the subionospheric waveguide over long distances. This polarization result enables us to perform goniometric direction finding and the result shows that the main direction of these ULF/ELF emissions is toward Taiwan. Hence, it is likely that such ULF/ELF emissions are associated with the Chi-Chi earth-quake in Taiwan at 02:27 Japanese Standard Time on 21 September 1999 (M = 7.6; depth 11 km).