Subionospheric VLF signal perturbations possibly related to earthquakes


  • O. A. Molchanov,

  • M. Hayakawa


A likely VLF subionospheric signal effect related to seismic activity was first reported by Hayakawa et al. [1996a, b] in association with the great Kobe earthquake. We have analyzed similar data during periods around 10 other great earthquakes (magnitude M>6) in order to understand the main features of such an effect. The following characteristics emerged from our analysis: The effect appears as a transient oscillation with a 5- to 10-day period, which is initiated a few days before a large earthquake and decays over a few days to weeks after it. It is mainly related to crustal earthquakes. It appears when resonant atmospheric oscillations with periods in a range of 5–11 days exist before the earthquake. The seismic influence on the VLF signal is probably explained by the generation of long-period gravity waves during the earthquake process and their intensification at heights of 70–90 km.