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Authors: Masci, F.*
Issue Date: 20-Nov-2012
Keywords: Geomagnetic field
Magnetic anomalies
Earthquake precursors
Short-term earthquake prediction
Abstract: During the last twenty years many researchers investigated ULF (Ultra-Low- Frequency) magnetic data in the hope of finding seismogenic signals. After the report of Fraser- Smith et al. (1990) several ULF stations were installed and many papers documented the observations of pre-earthquake magnetic anomalies. These claims motivate the belief that one day short-term earthquake prediction based on magnetic data may become a routine technique. Shortterm earthquake prediction has been the topic of several scientific debates but at present the entire subject remains still controversial. In order to be useful, short-term prediction requires reproducible earthquake precursors which provide information regarding intensity, location and time of the predicted earthquake together with error estimates for each parameter. Thus, a serious problem concerns the identification of reliable earthquake precursors. Recently, some researchers have given rise to a re-examination process of dubious earthquake precursors and published their findings. For example Masci (2010, 2011a), by means of global geomagnetic Kp index time-series, demonstrated that many presumed magnetic seismogenic signatures are not related to the subsequent earthquakes but are normal variations driven by the geomagnetic activity level. More precisely, as pointed out by Masci (2011a, 2012a), since the Kp index is representative of the geomagnetic field average disturbances over planetary scale, we should not expect that a good correlation between an ULF parameter of the geomagnetic field and Kp will always and everywhere exist during a long-time range. On the contrary, if a close correspondence between these changes of an ULF geomagnetic field parameter and Kp exists during a period of time, this indicates that the changes are part of normal global geomagnetic field variations driven by solar-terrestrial interactions and cannot be described as earthquake-related signals. Here, some examples of questioned earthquake precursors are reported hoping to shed light on the usefulness of the ULF magnetic measurements to study the occurrence of pre-earthquake seismogenic signals. In addition, the results of the analysis of magnetic data from the Geomagnetic Observatory of L’Aquila during the period of the 2009 L’Aquila seismic sequence are reported as well.
Appears in Collections:04.05.99. General or miscellaneous
Conference materials
04.05.04. Magnetic anomalies
04.06.99. General or miscellaneous

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