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On the observation of magnetic events on broad-band seismometers

AuthorsDiaz, J.; Ruiz Fernández, Mario ; Curto, Juan José; Torta, J. M.; Ledo, Juanjo; Marcuello, Álex; Queralt, Pilar
KeywordsSudden Storm Commencements
Anthropogenic sources of magnetic noise
Seismic instrumentation
Issue Date2020
CitationEarth, Planets and Space 72(1): 109 (2020)
AbstractThe objective of this contribution is to get new insights into the effects of magnetic field variations of natural and anthropogenic origin on broad-band seismic stations. Regarding natural sources of magnetic perturbations, we have investigated if the Sudden Storm Commencements (SSC) cataloged during the 24th solar cycle (2008–2019) can be systematically identified in broad-band seismic stations distributed worldwide. The results show that the 23 SSC events with a mean amplitude above 30 nT and most of those with lower energy but still clearly identified in the magnetometer detection network can be observed at broad-band stations’ network using a simple low-pass filter. Although the preliminary impulse of those signals is usually stronger at stations located at high latitudes, major SSC are observed at seismic stations distributed worldwide. Regarding anthropogenic sources, we focus on the short period seismic signals recorded in urban environments which are correlated with the activity of the railway transportation system. We have analyzed collocated measurements of electric field and seismic signals within Barcelona, evidencing that significant changes in the electric field following the activity of the transportation systems can be attributed to leakage currents transmitted to the soil by trains. During space weather events, electric currents in the magnetosphere and ionosphere experience large variations inducing telluric currents near the Earth surface, which in turn generate a secondary magnetic field. In the case of underground trains, leakage currents are transmitted to the soil, which in turn can result in local variations in the magnetic field. The observed signals in modern seismometers can be related to the reaction of the suspension springs to these magnetic field variations or to the effect of the magnetic field variations on the force transducers used to keep the mass fixed.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-020-01236-9
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