Articles | Volume 8, issue 3
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 8, 501–507, 2008
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 8, 501–507, 2008

  16 May 2008

16 May 2008

Multi-point ground-based ULF magnetic field observations in Europe during seismic active periods in 2004 and 2005

G. Prattes1, K. Schwingenschuh1, H. U. Eichelberger1, W. Magnes1, M. Boudjada1, M. Stachel1, M. Vellante2, V. Wesztergom3, and P. Nenovski4 G. Prattes et al.
  • 1Institut für Weltraumforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (IWF/ÖAW), Graz, Austria
  • 2Dipartimento di Fisica, Università dell'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
  • 3Geodetic and Geophysical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Science, Sopron, Hungary
  • 4Geophysical Institute, Sofia, Bulgaria

Abstract. We present the results of ground-based Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) magnetic field measurements observed from June to August 2004 during the Bovec earthquake on 12 July 2004. Further we give information about the seismic activity in the local observatory region for an extended time span 2004 and 2005. ULF magnetic field data are provided by the South European Geomagnetic Array (SEGMA) where the experience and heritage from the CHInese MAGnetometer (CHIMAG) fluxgate magnetometer comes to application. The intensities of the horizontal H and vertical Z magnetic field and the polarization ratio R of the vertical and horizontal magnetic field intensity are analyzed taking into consideration three SEGMA observatories located at different close distances and directions from the earthquake epicenter. We observed a significant increase of high polarization ratios during strong seismic activity at the observatory nearest to the Bovec earthquake epicenter. Apart from indirect ionospheric effects electromagnetic noise could be emitted in the lithosphere due to tectonic effects in the earthquake focus region causing anomalies of the vertical magnetic field intensity. Assuming that the measured vertical magnetic field intensities are of lithospheric origin, we roughly estimate the amplitude of electromagnetic noise in the Earths crust considering an average electrical conductivity of <σ>=10−3 S/m and a certain distance of the observatory to the earthquake epicenter.