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23 April 2009

ULF geomagnetic anomalous changes possibly associated with 2004–2005 Sumatra earthquakes

ULF geomagnetic anomalous changes possibly associated with 2004–2005 Sumatra earthquakes

S. Saroso (a), K. Hattori(b), H. Ishikawa (b), Y. Idac, R. Shirogane (c), M. Hayakawa (c), K. Yumoto (d), K. Shiokawa (e) and M. Nishihashi(f)

(a)National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), Bandung, Indonesia
(b)Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, Yayoi 1-33, Inage, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
(c)Department of Electronic Engineering and Research Station on Seismo Electromagnetics, The University of Electro-Communications, Chofu, Japan
(d)Space Environment Research Center, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
(e)Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
(f)Graduate School of Science and Technology, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan

Received 12 June 2008;
revised 8 October 2008;
accepted 14 October 2008.
Available online 1 November 2008.


Anomalous ULF geomagnetic field change is considered to be one of the most convincing and promising phenomena among earthquake-related electromagnetic effects, because we expect emissions from the crust of the source region. There has been a great deal of accumulated and convincing evidence of ULF magnetic signatures before large earthquakes as reported in the previous studies. In order to verify these phenomena preceding large earthquakes and to clarify the relationship between electromagnetic phenomena and possible physical mechanism, we have investigated the data of ULF geomagnetic observations at Kototabang and Biak stations associated with the 2004/2005 Sumatra earthquakes. A case study is carried out in this work to investigate the pre-earthquake ULF geomagnetic anomalies during the Sumatra–Andaman earthquake on December 26, 2004 (magnitude Mw = 9.0 and depth = 30 km from USGS catalog), and Sumatra–Nias earthquake on March 28, 2005 (Mw = 8.7 and depth = 30 km). For the aim of finding any precursors, we have adopted the spectral density ratio analysis and transfer functions analysis based on wavelet transform method. Results of the spectral density analysis indicate similar variations to those of amplitude for the induction arrow in transfer function analysis. Both of these variations at Kototabang exhibit strange or anomalous changes from a few weeks before the Sumatra–Andaman earthquake to July 2005, while there are no apparent changes at remote station of Biak. To make these results more convincing, the fractal analysis based on a Higuchi method has been applied to the same observed data, which also show a significant change (or decrease) in mono-fractal dimension a few weeks before the earthquakes. This result would lend a further support to those by the spectral density ratio and transfer function analyses. So, we can conclude that the anomalous change as observed simultaneously by the three methods, might be a possible signature related with the earthquake preparation phase of Sumatra earthquakes.

Keywords: ULF geomagnetic field; Pre-earthquake anomaly; Spectral density ratio analysis; Transfer functions analysis; Fractal analysis; The 2004/2005 Sumatra earthquakes

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