Articles | Volume 7, issue 5
26 Oct 2007
26 Oct 2007

Anomalous radon emanation linked to preseismic electromagnetic phenomena

Y. Omori, Y. Yasuoka, H. Nagahama, Y. Kawada, T. Ishikawa, S. Tokonami, and M. Shinogi

Abstract. Anomalous emanation of radon (222Rn) was observed preceding large earthquakes and is considered to be linked to preseismic electromagnetic phenomena (e.g. great changes of atmospheric electric field and ionospheric disturbances). Here we analyze atmospheric radon concentration and estimate changes of electrical conditions in atmosphere due to preseismic radon anomaly. The increase of radon emanation obeys crustal damage evolution, following a power-law of time-to-earthquake. Moreover, the radon emanation decreases the atmospheric electric field by 40%, besides influencing the maximum strength of atmospheric electric field by 104–105 V/m enough to trigger ionospheric disturbances. These changes are within the ranges observed or explaining electromagnetic phenomena associated with large earthquakes.