Articles | Volume 5, issue 5
08 Sep 2005
08 Sep 2005

Earthquake lights and rupture processes

T. V. Losseva and I. V. Nemchinov

Abstract. A physical model of earthquake lights is proposed. It is suggested that the magnetic diffusion from the electric and magnetic fields source region is a dominant process, explaining rather high localization of the light flashes. A 3D numerical code allowing to take into account the arbitrary distribution of currents caused by ground motion, conductivity in the ground and at its surface, including the existence of sea water above the epicenter or (and) near the ruptured segments of the fault have been developed. Simulations for the 1995 Kobe earthquake were conducted taking into account the existence of sea water with realistic geometry of shores. The results do not contradict the eyewitness reports and scarce measurements of the electric and magnetic fields at large distances from the epicenter.