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Simultaneous Study of VLF/ULF Anomalies Associated with Earthquakes in Japan

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: We carried out a simultaneous study of ground-based magnetic field and lower ionospheric anomalies during major earthquakes occurring around Japan in 2010 and 2012. Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) geomagnetic field waveforms of Esashi station and Very Low Frequency (VLF) Japanese transmitter (JJY) electric signal amplitude received in Moshiri station Hokkaido during nighttime (22:00-02:00 LT) were used to minimize the local interference. Twenty earthquakes having magnitude greater than 5.5 were considered for the data analysis for two years. Nighttime amplitude fluctuations and polarization from the received VLF transmitter signal amplitude and ULF magnetic field respectively were calculated to identify anomalous signatures in relation to every earthquake. We found most earthquakes analyzed indicating VLF amplitude anomalies simultaneously occurred with ULF magnetic field anomalies within a week prior to the earthquakes. Stronger anomalies were observed for larger magnitude and shallower earthquakes. Focal mechanism of earthquakes was also examined to identify the effectiveness of generating anomaly. Both VLF and ULF anomalies were observed for reverse fault type earthquakes occurring under the strong pressure in the crust. Obtained results may indicate the common anomaly source both for VLF and ULF in the lithosphere and are consistent with currently proposed Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere (LAI) coupling scenarios during the earthquake preparation period.

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