Atmospheric electrical field decrease during the M = 4.1 Sousel earthquake (Portugal)
- 1Geophysical Centre of Évora and Physics Department, ECT, University of Évora, Portugal
- 2University of Bari and Inter-Department Centre for the Evaluation and Mitigation of the Volcanic and Seismic Risk, Italy
Abstract. In this paper, we report the observation of a significant decrease of the vertical component of the atmospheric electrical field in the Évora region (Portugal) during the M = 4.1 Sousel earthquake of 27 March 2010. The epicentre of the earthquake was 52 km from the observation site, which falls within the theoretical earthquake preparation radius. A simple interpretation based on hypothetical radon emissions is presented, and future experiments required to elucidate these observations are outlined. To our knowledge, this is the first reported observation of a decrease of the atmospheric electrical field preceding an earthquake.