A statistical study on precursory effects of earthquakes observed through the atmospheric vertical electric field in northeast India

Abhijit Choudhury, Anirban Guha, Barin Kumar De, Rakesh Roy


The study of anomalous variations in the near-surface atmospheric vertical electric field (VEF) that have the form of bay-like depressions in strength have been used as precursors of earthquakes in various studies. We present here the first statistical report from an earthquake-prone zone in northeast India from July 2009 to July 2012. The 10 days that were meteorologically fair and with earthquake occurrences were selected for the present analysis. The average VEF bay durations and depths were ca. 50 min to 70 min, with the corresponding magnitudes of 500 Vm-1 to 800 Vm-1. Anomalous variation in VEF before 7 to 12 hour of the impending earthquake has been observed. There was a 31% probability that a VEF bay would show as an earthquake precursor. The positive correlation coefficient was 0.72 between the VEF bay depth and the ratio of earthquake magnitude to depth, while the negative correlation coefficient of 0.82 was calculated between VEF bay duration and the ratio of earthquake magnitude to depth. There was moderate correlation for distance of the earthquake epicenter to the observation point with both VEF bay depth and VEF bay duration. The correlation of the time difference of VEF variations and earthquakes with VEF bay depth was good, whereas the correlation of the time difference of VEF variations and earthquakes with VEF bay duration was too low to be considered.


Vertical Electric Field; Earthquake; Negative Bay Anomaly; Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-6235
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X