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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 3
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 987–991, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-11-987-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Progress in research on earthquake precursors

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 987–991, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-11-987-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 28 Mar 2011

Research article | 28 Mar 2011

Atmospheric electrical field decrease during the M = 4.1 Sousel earthquake (Portugal)

H. G. Silva1, M. Bezzeghoud1, A. H. Reis1, R. N. Rosa1, M. Tlemçani1, A. A. Araújo1, C. Serrano1, J. F. Borges1, B. Caldeira1, and P. F. Biagi2 H. G. Silva et al.
  • 1Geophysical Centre of Évora and Physics Department, ECT, University of Évora, Portugal
  • 2University of Bari and Inter-Department Centre for the Evaluation and Mitigation of the Volcanic and Seismic Risk, Italy

Abstract. In this paper, we report the observation of a significant decrease of the vertical component of the atmospheric electrical field in the Évora region (Portugal) during the M = 4.1 Sousel earthquake of 27 March 2010. The epicentre of the earthquake was 52 km from the observation site, which falls within the theoretical earthquake preparation radius. A simple interpretation based on hypothetical radon emissions is presented, and future experiments required to elucidate these observations are outlined. To our knowledge, this is the first reported observation of a decrease of the atmospheric electrical field preceding an earthquake.

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