Orographic role in anomalous VHF propagation on the background of impending earthquakes (EQ)

Minakshi Devi, Alaka Medhi, Ananda Kumar Barbara, Anna Depueva, Yurij Ruzhin


The role of orographic factors in modifying atmospheric dynamics on the background of an impending earthquake (EQ) that might lead to propagation of a signal beyond the Line Of Sight (LOS) is examined in the paper. The analysis is based on the data of anomalous reception of VHF FM-signal at Gauhati University (GU, 26.15°N, 91.66°E), a station located in the sub Himalayan terrain. The signal reception records show that their anomalous appearance are associated closely with earthquake events of M >5.0, a phenomenon identified as EQ precursor. To identify sources of such reception, the paper presents some analytical approaches involving the terrain factors, impending EQ and atmospheric variabilities. Finally, the contribution of location/topography of the transmitter, receiver and epicenter in modifying the EQ induced atmospheric factors, is brought in to the ambit of analysis for explaining the observed over horizon VHF signal propagation. A special reference is made on the EQ time drop in temperature, increase in humidity and hence modification in Radio Refractive Index (RRI) gradient, in favoring such reception. A model in support of the observation on EQ time lithosphere-atmosphere coupling relevant to widening of radio horizon limit is also proposed.


Orography; EQ and VHF anomalous propagation; Earthquake; RRI; Terrain features

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-6716
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X