Anomalous radon emanation linked to preseismic electromagnetic phenomena

Y. Omori, Y. Yasuoka, H. Nagahama, Y. Kawada, T. Ishikawa, S. Tokonami, M. Shinogi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Anomalous emanation of radon (222Rn) was observed preceding large earthquakes and is considered to be linked to preseismic electromagnetic phenomena (e.g. great changes of atmospheric electric field and ionospheric disturbances). Here we analyze atmospheric radon concentration and estimate changes of electrical conditions in atmosphere due to preseismic radon anomaly. The increase of radon emanation obeys crustal damage evolution, following a powerlaw of time-to-earthquake. Moreover, the radon emanation decreases the atmospheric electric field by 40%, besides influencing the maximum strength of atmospheric electric field by 104-105 V/m enough to trigger ionospheric disturbances. These changes are within the ranges observed or explaining electromagnetic phenomena associated with large earthquakes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-635
Number of pages7
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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