Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 7, 423–430, 2007

Special issue: Seismo-tectonic electromagnetic effects and precursory...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 7, 423–430, 2007

  21 Jun 2007

21 Jun 2007

Decrease in the electric intensity of VLF/LF radio signals and possible connections

P. F. Biagi1,2, L. Castellana1, T. Maggipinto1, G. Maggipinto1, A. Minafra1, A. Ermini3, V. Capozzi4, G. Perna4, M. Solovieva5, A. Rozhnoi5, O. A. Molchanov5, and M. Hayakawa6 P. F. Biagi et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Bari, Via Amendola 173, 70126 Bari, Italy
  • 2Inter-Department Centre for the Evaluation and Mitigation of the Volcanic and Seismic Risk, University of Bari, Italy
  • 3Department of Engineering of Enterprise, University of Roma Tor Vergata, Via di Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
  • 4Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Foggia, Via L. Pinto, 71100 Foggia, Italy
  • 5United Institute of the Earth's Physics, Russian Academy of Science, Bolshaya Gruzinskaya 10, 123995 Moscow, Russia
  • 6Department of Electronic Engineering, The University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu City, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan

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.