Decrease in the electric intensity of VLF/LF radio signals and possible connections
Abstract. In February 2002, a receiver was put into operation at the Department of Physics of Bari University (Southern Italy) to record VLF-LF radio signals. The intensity and the phase of the signals transmitted by GB (f=16 kHz, United Kingdom), FR (f=20.9 kHz, France), GE (f=23.4 kHz, Germany), IC (f=37.5 kHz, Island) and IT (f=54 kHz, Sicily, Italy) has been monitored with a 5 s sampling rate. The intensity raw data averaged over 10 min, from February 2002 to April 2006, have been analysed. Several decreases of the electric field intensity of the radio signals with a duration of some days were revealed, generally occurring in not concomitant periods. The GE signal decreases systematically in winter and summer each year and so, it could be supposed that such decreases are related to the transmitter. On the contrary, all the other decreases pointed out are sporadic and the previous justification does not seem realistic. On the time occurrence of these decreases, the geomagnetic activity, the meteorological conditions in the receiver area and the regional seismic activity were investigated. The main result is that, generally, a pre or post seismic effect seems to give the most convincing justification. The effect seems to appear for earthquakes with magnitude M≥4.3, when the epicentres are within the third Fresnel zone of the radio signals or near enough to some radio path.