Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1551–1556, 2009

Special issue: Ground and satellite based observations during the time of...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1551–1556, 2009

  08 Sep 2009

08 Sep 2009

A pre seismic radio anomaly revealed in the area where the Abruzzo earthquake (M=6.3) occurred on 6 April 2009

P. F. Biagi1,2, L. Castellana1, T. Maggipinto1, D. Loiacono1, L. Schiavulli1, T. Ligonzo1, M. Fiore3, E. Suciu4, and A. Ermini5 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
  • 3Elettronika s.r.l., Palo del Colle (Bari), Italy
  • 4Elettronika Research, Brasov, Romania
  • 5Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Roma Tor Vergata, Via di Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy

Abstract. On 6 April 2009 a strong (Mw=6.3) earthquake occurred in the Abruzzo region (central Italy). Since 1996, the intensity of CLT (f=189 kHz, Sicily, Italy), MCO (f=216 kHz, France) and CZE (f=270 kHz, Czech Republic) broadcast signals has been collected with a ten minutes sampling rate by a receiver operating in a place located about 13 km far from the epicenter. During March 2009, the old receiver was substituted with a new one able to measure, with one minute sampling rate, the intensity of five VLF signals and five LF signals radiated by transmitters located in different zones of Europe. The MCO and CZE transmitters mentioned above are included among them. From 31 March to 1 April the intensity of the MCO radio signal dropped and this drop was observed only in this signal. The possibility that the drop was connected to problems in the transmitter or in the receiver was investigated and excluded. So, the drop indicates a defocusing of the radiated signal. Since no particular meteorological situation along the path transmitter-receiver happened, the defocusing must be related to other causes, and a possibility is presented that it is a precursor of the Abruzzo earthquake.