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Authors: Prattes, G.* 
Schwingenschuh, K.* 
Eichelberger, H. U.* 
Magnes, W.* 
Boudjada, M.* 
Stachel, M.* 
Vellante, M.* 
Villante, U.* 
Wesztergom, V.* 
Nenovski, P.* 
Title: Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) European multi station magnetic field analysis before and during the 2009 earthquake at L'Aquila regarding regional geotechnical information
Issue Date: 2011
Series/Report no.: /11(2011)
DOI: 10.5194/nhess-11-1959-2011
Keywords: magnetic field analysis
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: This work presents ground based Ultra Low Fre- quency (ULF) magnetic field measurements in the frequency range from 10–15mHz from 1 January 2008 to 14 April 2009. In this time period a strong earthquake series hit the Italian Abruzzo region around L’Aquila with the main stroke of magnitude M = 6.3 on 6 April 2009. In the frame of the South European Geomagnetic Array (SEGMA), a European collaboration runs ULF fluxgate instruments providing con- tinuously magnetic field data recorded in mid- and south Eu- rope. The main scientific objective is the investigation of signal variations due to seismic activity and the discrimi- nation between other natural and human influences. The SEGMA station closest to the L’Aquila earthquake epicen- ter is L’Aquila observatory located in the epicenter region. For the scientific analysis we extract the nighttime period from 22:00–02:00 UT and determine the power spectral den- sity (PSD) of the horizontal (H) and vertical (Z) magnetic field components and the standardized polarization ratio (Z) over (H). To discriminate local emissions from global ge- omagnetic effects, data from three SEGMA stations in dis- tances up to 630 km from the epicenter region are analyzed and further compared to the independent global geomagnetic 􏰎Kp index. Apart from indirect ionospheric effects, elec- tromagnetic noise could be originated in the lithosphere due to tectonic mechanisms in the earthquake focus. To estimate the amplitude of assumed lithospheric electromagnetic noise emissions causing anomalies in the PSD of the (Z) compo- nent, we consider magnetotelluric calculations of the electric crust conductivity in the L’Aquila region. Results found at L’Aquila observatory are interpreted with respect to the litho- sphere electrical conductivity in the local observatory region, the 􏰎Kp index, and further in a multi station analysis. Pos- sible seismic related ULF anomalies occur ∼2 weeks before the main stroke.
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