Articles | Volume 19, issue 4
Research article
23 Jul 2012
Research article |  | 23 Jul 2012

Magnetic transfer function entropy and the 2009 Mw = 6.3 L'Aquila earthquake (Central Italy)

G. Cianchini, A. De Santis, D. R. Barraclough, L. X. Wu, and K. Qin

Abstract. With the aim of obtaining a deeper knowledge of the physical phenomena associated with the 2009 L'Aquila (Central Italy) seismic sequence, culminating with a Mw = 6.3 earthquake on 6 April 2009, and possibly of identifying some kind of earthquake-related magnetic or geoelectric anomaly, we analyse the geomagnetic field components measured at the magnetic observatory of L'Aquila and their variations in time. In particular, trends of magnetic transfer functions in the years 2006–2010 are inspected. They are calculated from the horizontal to vertical magnetic component ratio in the frequency domain, and are very sensitive to deep and lateral geoelectric characteristics of the measurement site. Entropy analysis, carried out from the transfer functions with the so called transfer function entropy, points out clear temporal burst regimes of a few distinct harmonics preceding the main shock of the seismic sequence. A possible explanation is that they could be related to deep fluid migrations and/or to variations in the micro-/meso-fracturing that affected significantly the conductivity (ordered/disordered) distribution in a large lithospheric volume under the seismogenic layer below L'Aquila area. This interpretation is also supported by the analysis of hypocentres depths before the main shock occurrence.