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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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

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

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