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Authors: Röder, H.* 
Braun, T.* 
Schuhmann, W.* 
Boschi, E.* 
Büttner, R.* 
Zimanowski, B.* 
Title: Great Sumatra Earthquake Registers on Electrostatic Sensor
Issue Date: 8-Nov-2005
Series/Report no.: 86/45 (2005)
Keywords: Sumatra earthquake
electrostatic signals
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.03. Earthquake source and dynamics 
Abstract: Strong electrical signals that correspond to the Mw = 9.3 earthquake of 26 December 2004, which occurred at 0058:50.7 UTC off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia, were recorded by an electrostatic sensor (a device that detects short-term variations in Earth’s electrostatic fi eld) at a seismic station in Italy, which had been installed to study the infl uence of local earthquakes on a new landslide monitoring system. Electrical signals arrived at the station practically instantaneously and were detected up to several hours before the onset of the Sumatra earthquake (Figure 1) as well as before local quakes. The corresponding seismic signals (p-waves) arrived 740 seconds after the start of the earthquake. Because the electrical signals travel at the speed of light, electrical monitoring for the global detection of very strong earthquakes could be an important tool in signifi cantly increasing the hazard alert window.
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