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A Multivariable, Two-Dimensional Plot of Electromagnetic, Electric Field and Seismic Information for the Characterization of Earthquake Precursors

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Document pages: 22 pages

Abstract: Removal of the electrical shielding from a type of Fourier transform seismometer overlays seismic information with Extremely Low Frequency-range (ELF) electromagnetic signals between about 0.3 Hz and 36 Hz (the ITU-designated range of ELF is 3 to 30 Hz). The observed signals originate in the electric power grid, shown clearly by the fact that they are sum and difference heterodyne products with the power grid’s higher harmonics of 60 Hz, typically the 36th and 37th, because the seismometer’s chosen frequency modulation (FM) carrier frequency is roughly 2200 Hz. It is especially interesting that on 2017-03-19, prior to 14:25:12 UTC, the instrument recorded an 11 minute sequence of 20.3 Hz ELF outbursts that culminated intimately with a 3.2 magnitude earthquake located a few miles west of Bardwell KY. These ~20.3 Hz ELF signals, very near the third Schumann resonance frequency, have been recorded numerous times. They are distinctive and fairly strong, ranging 15 to 30 db or more above the noise floor, but definitely not an every-day event; months can pass without them. So far most of these ELF signals do not have an intimately associated earthquake, with the event of 2017-03-19 being one of only two exceptions recorded thus far. That quake’s location was more than one hundred miles from the instrument, in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). The second case, a quake in Kansas, was about three times farther from the instrument, and its ELF signals were correspondingly weaker. Those other, unassociated electromagnetic events might come from quakes too weak to detect, but it should be noted that stronger, easily detected quakes also rarely exhibit any ELF seismic “connectivity”. This paper describes an instrument that overlays ELF, electric field and seismic signals. The instrument’s two-dimensional (2D) output has a time axis (horizontal) resolution of ~3 seconds and an ELF frequency (vertical) resolution of ~0.3 Hz.

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