Energy and polarization of the telluric field in correlation with seismic activity in Greece

G. Vargemezis, J. Zlotnicki, G. N. Tsokas


Many attempts have been made to disclose anomalous changes of the electromagnetic field in relation with tectonic earthquakes. We tentatively develop a new approach based on the energy and polarity of the electric field, and apply this method to the seismicity in Greece. The study of the parameters of the horizontal electric field is realized in a time interval of five years. The data set allows the study of long-term variations of the field. Further, we examined the possible relation of the geoelectric activity with long distance seismicity (up to 500 km). The energy of the electric signal was estimated and correlated with the logarithm of the seismic moment (M 0 ). The values of the seismic moment estimated for each earthquake were summed for daily intervals, and the logarithm of the sum was computed. The same process was applied to the energy of the geoelectric field. Then, a correlation was attempted between the energy of the geoelectric field and the seismic moment referring to daily intervals. In two cases, changes in the energy of the horizontal geoelectric field were observed before the burst of the seismic activity. The energy of the telluric field increased several months before the burst of seismic activity and recovered right after the occurrence of the mainshocks. The hodograms of the horizontal geoelectric field show polarization changes regardless of the magnetic field. This is possibly attributed to the process of generation of electric currents before major earthquakes. Due to high and continuous regional seismicity in Greece, it was impossible to attribute the response of the polarization to the activation of specific seismic areas. It seems that the long-term energy variations of the horizontal geoelectric field as well as the polarization are related to forthcoming seismic activity. Therefore, long-term energy variations of the horizontal geoelectric field as well as the polarization could be used in tandem with other possible precursors in order to contribute to earthquake prediction studies.


earthquake precursor;telluric field;electric field;polarization

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X