Co-seismic geomagnetic fluctuations and atmospheric disturbances during the 2018 M 6.2 Hualien Earthquake

  • Co-seismic geomagnetic fluctuations can be amplified by not only seismicity intensity level but underground susceptibility
  • Micro-barometers and tiltmeters for the first time detect co-seismic fluctuations
  • Long lasting tiltings might result from underground water oscillations activated by seismic waves

The strong ground motion of 6 February 2018 M6.2 Hualien Earthquake triggered a series of co-seismic geomagnetic fluctuations and seismo-traveling atmospheric disturbances (STADs) signatures in infrasonic waves and micro-pressures upon the seismic wave arrival. Networks of 9 QuakeFinder systems, 3 infrasound systems, 2 tiltmeters, 2 micro-barometers, and 11 co-located seismometers are used in this study. Each QuakeFinder system consists of a 3-axes induction magnetometer, an air conductivity sensor, a geophone, and temperature/relative humidity sensors. Co-seismic signatures clearly appear in the induction magnetometers, infrasound systems, and micro-barometers data. The magnetometers register both high- and low-frequency pulsations. Geomagnetic fluctuations occur upon the seismic wave arrival but last a longer duration, while the STADs lag their co-located seismic waves by about 15-45 seconds. The long-lasting fluctuations recorded by both induction and fluxgate magnetometers suggest that the ground/underground water motion play an important role, which is further conformed by low-frequency fluctuations in the tiltmeter data. In general, the amplitude of geomagnetic fluctuations decays as away from the epicenter. However, unusual large co-seismic geomagnetic fluctuations are detected over areas of the abnormal seismic intensity level and/or the magnetic underground structure with anomalously high susceptibilities.

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