Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 173, Issue 1, pp 255–268 | Cite as

Characteristics of Seismoelectric Wave Fields Associated with Natural Microcracks

  • Yukio Fujinawa
  • Yoichi Noda


Properties of seismoelectric waves in relation to natural earthquakes have been investigated. The electromagnetic disturbances were analyzed to test the hypothesis that pulse-like electric variations are directly related to microcracks as source. Because variation is very difficult to detect, there have been few quantitative field investigations. We used selected events with clear S and P phases from the data catalog obtained before the Tohoku earthquake in 2011. The electric strength of the fast P wave (P f), S wave (S), and electromagnetic wave (EM) associated with formation of cracks of tensile mode were estimated. The co-seismic electric signal accompanied by the S wave has the largest strength, well above the noise level, and the EM wave has the lowest strength. Analytical estimation of the ratio of the strengths of the Pf and EM phases to that of the S phase by use of Pride’s equations gave results partially in agreement with observation (the order was Apf > A s > A em). The strength of the observed electromagnetic mode is approximately two orders of magnitude larger than that estimated from the theory. We suggest this greater strength can be attributed to the converted modes at layer contracts or to the effect of the boundary between free atmosphere and crust. Overall agreement between observations and theoretical estimates suggests that electromagnetic anomalies, crustal deformation, and groundwater changes can be investigated on the basis of the unified equations for the coupled electromagnetics, acoustics, and hydrodynamics of porous media.


Seismoelectric waves natural earthquakes microcracks electrokinetic effect electromagnetic precursors converted modes strength 



The authors thanks Mr Takamatsu, for cooperation with observations, and Mr Takehiko Aruga of Mieruka Bousai Inc., for continuous encouragement. Many thanks are expressed to Professors André Revil, Qinghua Huang, and Dr Niels Grobbe for their valuable comments.


  1. Araji, A. H., Revil, A., Jardani, A., Minsley, B. J., and Karaoulis, M. (2012) Imaging with cross-hole seismoelectric tomography, Geophys. J. Int. 188, 1285–1302.Google Scholar
  2. Asada, T., Suzuki, Z., Tomoda, Y. (1950) On energy and frequency of earthquakes, J. Seismol.Soc. Japan (Zisin), 3, 11–15. (In Japanese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  3. Belov, S.V., Migunov, N.I., and Sobolev, G.A. (1974) Magnetic effects accompanying strong Kamchatkan earthquakes, Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 14, No. 2, 380–382, (in Russian).Google Scholar
  4. ERG (Electormagnetic Research Group for the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu Earthquake) (1997) Tectonoelectric signal related with the occurrence of the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake (M7.2) and preliminary results of electromagnetic observation around the focal area, J. Phys. Earth., 45, 91–104.Google Scholar
  5. Fujinawa, Y. and Takahashi, K. (1990) Emission of electromagnetic radiation preceding the Ito seismic swarm of 1989, Nature, 347, 376–378.Google Scholar
  6. Fujinawa, Y. and Takahashi, K. (1998) Electromagnetic radiations associated with major earthquakes, Phys. Earth and Planet. Inter., 105, 249–259.Google Scholar
  7. Fujinawa, Y. and Takahashi, K., Matsumoto, T., Iitaka, H., Nakayama, T., Sawada, T., Sakai, H. (2001) Electric Field Variations Related with Seismic Swarms, Bull Earthq. Res. Instit., 76, 391–415.Google Scholar
  8. Fujinawa, Y., Rokugo, Y., Noda, Y. Mizui, Y., Kobayashi, M., and Mizutani, E. (2009) Development of application systems for earthquake early warning, J. Disaster Res. 4(4).Google Scholar
  9. Fujinawa, Y. and Takahashi, K., Noda, Y., Iitaka, H., and Yazaki, S. (2011) Remote detection of the electric field change induced at the seismic wave front the start of fault rupturing, Intern. J. Geophys., Article ID 752193, 11 pages, doi: 10.1155/2011/752193.
  10. Fujinawa, Y., Noda, Y., Takahashi, K., Kobayashi, M., Takamatsu, K., and Natsumeda, J. (2013), Field detection of microcracks to define the nucleation, International Journal of Geophysics, 2013, Article ID 651823, 18 pages  10.1155/2013/651823.
  11. Garambois, S., and Dietrich, M. (2001) Full waveform numerical simulations of seismoelectromagnetic wave conversions in fluid-saturated stratified porous media, J. geophys. Res., 107(B7), 2148, doi: 10.1029/2001JB00316.
  12. Gao Y. X., and Hu, H. S. (2010) Seismoelectromagnetic waves radiated by a double couple source in a saturated porous medium, Geophys. J. Int., 181, 873–896.Google Scholar
  13. Gershenzon,N. I., and Bambakidis, G. (2001) Modeling of seismo-electromagnetic phenomena. Russian, J. Earth Sci. 3, no. 4, 247–275.Google Scholar
  14. Gershenzon, N. I., Gokhberg, M. B., Gul’yel’mi, A.V. (1994) Electromagnetic field of seismic pulses, Phys. Solid Earth (English Translation), 29, 789–794.Google Scholar
  15. Grobbe, N. and Slob, E. (2013) Validation of an electroseismic and seismoelectric modeling code, for layered earth models, by the explicit homogeneous space solutions, SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts 2013: pp. 1847–1851. doi: 10.1190/segam2013-1208.1.
  16. Haartsen M. W., and Pride, S. R. (1997) Electroseismic waves from point sources in layered media, J. Geophys. Res., 102, 24745–24769.Google Scholar
  17. Haas, A. K., Revil, A., Karaoulis, M., Frash, L., Hampton, J., Gutierrez, M., and Mooney M.(2012) Electric potential source localization reveals a borehole leak during hydraulic fracturing, Geophysics, 78, No. 2; P. D93–D113. doi: 10.1190/GEO2012-0388.1,
  18. Han, P. (2012) Investigation of ULF seismo-magnetic phenomena in Kanto, Japan during 2000–2010 [Ph.D. Thesis], Chiba University.Google Scholar
  19. Hayakawa M., and Fujinawa Y. (Eds.) (1994) Electromagnetic Phenomena Related to Earthquake Prediction, Terra Scientific Publishing Company, Tokyo, Japan.Google Scholar
  20. Hayashi, H., Kasahara, K., and Kimura, H. (2006) Pre-Neogine basement rocks beneath the Kanto Plain, central Japan, J. Geol. Soc. Japan, 112, 2–13. (In Japanese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  21. Honkura, Y., Matsushima, M., Oshiman, N., Tuncer, M.K., Baris, S., Ito, A., Iio, Y., and Isikara, A. M.(2002) Small electric and magnetic signals observed before the arrival of seismic wave, Earth Planets Space, 54, 9–12.Google Scholar
  22. Hu, H., and Gao, Y.(2009) The electric field induced by the fast P-wave and its nonexistence in a dynamically compatible porous medium, SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts, RP P1, 2170–2174.Google Scholar
  23. Hu, H., Liu, J., and Wang, K. (2002) Attenuation and seismoelectric characteristics of dynamically compatible porous media, SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts, 1817–1820.Google Scholar
  24. Huang, Q. (2002). One possible generation mechanism of co-seismic electric signals, Proc. Japan. Acad., 78(B7), 173–178.Google Scholar
  25. Huang, Q., and Liu, T. (2006) Earthquakes and tide response of geoelectric potential field at the Niijima station, Chin. J. Geophys., 49(6), 1745–1754.Google Scholar
  26. Huang, Q., Ren, H., Zhang, D., and Chen, Y. J. (2015) Medium effect on the characteristics of the coupled seismic and electromagnetic signals, Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B 91, 17–24.Google Scholar
  27. Ikeda, R. (1987) Groundwater pressure variation at Chikura,Chiba Prefecture Associated with the eruption of Izu-Oshima, Coordinating Comittee for Earthquake Prediction, 38, 216–218.Google Scholar
  28. Ishimoto, M., and Iida K. (1937), Determination of elastic constants of soils by means vibration methods, Part 2,Modulus of rigidity and Poisson’s ratio, Bull. Earthquake Res., Univ. Tokyo,15,67–85.Google Scholar
  29. Iyemori, T. et al. (1996) Co-seismic geomagnetic variations observed at the 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu earthquake, J. Geomag. Geoelectr. 48, 1059–1070.Google Scholar
  30. Jardani, A., Revil, A., Slob, E., and Sollner, W. (2010) Stochastic joint inversion of 2D seismic and seismoelectric signals in linear poroelastic materials, Geophysics, 75(1), N19–N31, doi: 10.1190/1.3279833.
  31. Mahardika1, H., Revil, A., and Jardani, A. (2012) Waveform joint inversion of seismograms and electrograms for moment tensor characterization of fracking events, Geophysics, 77(5), P. ID23–ID39, doi: 10.1190/GEO2012-0019.1.
  32. Mueller, T. M., Gurevich, B., and Lebedev, M. (2010) Seismic wave attenuation and dispersion resulting from wave-induced flow in porous rocks - A review, Geophysics. 75(5): pp. 75A147-75A164.Google Scholar
  33. Nagao, T., Orihara, Y., Yamaguchi, T., Takahashi, I., Hattori, K., Noda, Y. Sayanagi, K., and Uyeda, S. (2000) Co-seismic geoelectric potential changes observed in Japan, Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 1535-1538.Google Scholar
  34. Nanjo, K. Z., Hirata, N.,Obara, K., and Kasahara K. (2012) Decade scale decrease in b- value prior to the M9-class 2011 Tohoku and 2004 Sumatra quakes, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi: 10.1029/2012GL052997.
  35. Ogasawara, H., et al., (2009) Semi-controlled earthquake-generation experiments in deep gold mines, South Africa—Monitoring at closest proximity to elucidate seismogenic process—, J. Seismol. Soc. Japan (Zisin), 61, S563–S573. (In Japanese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  36. Otsuka M. (1965) Earthquake magnitude and surface fault formation, J. Seismol. Soc. Japan (Zisin), 18, 1–8.Google Scholar
  37. Ozawa S, Miyazaki, S., Hatanaka, Y., Imakiire, T., Kaidzu, M., and Murakami, M. (2003) Characteristic silent earthquakes in the eastern part of the Boso Peninsula, Central Japan, Geophys. Res. Lett. 30:1283.Google Scholar
  38. Pride, S. (1994) Governing equations for the coupled electromagnetics and acoustics of porous media, Phys. Rev. B, 50, no. 21, 15678–15696.Google Scholar
  39. Pride, S. R., and Haartsen, M.W. (1996) Electroseismic wave properties, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 100, 1301–1315.Google Scholar
  40. Pride, S. R., Berryman, J. G., and Harris J. M. (2004) Seismic attenuation due to wave-induced flow, J. Geophys. Res., 109, B01201, doi: 10.1029/2003JB002639.
  41. Ren, H. X., Chen, X.F., and Huang, Q. H. (2012) Numerical simulation of coseismic electromagnetic fields associated with seismic waves due to finite faulting in porous media, Geophys. J. Int.,188, 925–944 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05309.x.
  42. Revil A., Barnier, G., Karaoulis M., and Sava, P.(2014) Seismoelectric coupling in unsaturated porous media: Theory, petrophysics, and saturation front localization using an electroacoustic approach, Geophysical Journal International, 196(2): 867–884, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt440 .
  43. Schoemaker, F. C., Grobbe, N., Schakel, M. D., de Ridder, S. A. L. Slob, E. C., and Smeulders, D. M. J., Experimental Validation of the Electrokinetic Theory and Development of Seismoelectric Interferometry by Cross-Correlation, International Journal of Geophysics, 2012, Article ID 514242, 23 pages, doi: 10.1155/2012/514242.
  44. Suzuki, H. (2002) Underground geological structure beneath the Kanto Plain, Japan, Report of the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, No.63, 1–19 (In Japanese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  45. Takahashi, H., Takahashi, K. (1989) Tomography of seismo-radio wave source region predicting imminent earthquakes, Phys. Earth and Planet. Inter., 51, 40–44.Google Scholar
  46. Takahashi, K., Fujinawa, Y., Matsumoto, T., Nakayama, T., Sawada, T., Sakai, H., and. Iitaka, H. (2000) An anomalous electric field variation with the seismic swarm(1)-Underground electric field observation at Hodaka station (1995-1999), Tec. Note Nat. Res. Inst. Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, No. 204, 1-224.Google Scholar
  47. Tsumura, K. (1967) Determination of earthquake magnitude from duration of oscillation, J. Seismol.Soc. Japan (Zisin) 2, 20, 1, 30–40.Google Scholar
  48. Uchide, T, Ide,S., and Beroza, G. C. (2009) Dynamic high-speed rupture from the onset of the 2004 Parkfield, California, earthquake, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L04307, doi: 10.1029/2008GL036824.
  49. White, B.S. & Zhou, M.(2006) Electroseismic prospecting in layered media, Soc. Indust. Appl. Math., 67(1), 69–98.Google Scholar
  50. Zhang, D., Ren, H.X. and Huang, Q.H. (2013) Numerical simulation study of co-seismic electromagnetic signals in porous media, Chin. J. Geophys. 56, 2739–2747.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mieruka Bousai Inc.TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Tierra Tecnica LtdMusashi-murayamaJapan

Personalised recommendations