The LF radio anomaly observed before the Mw = 6.5 earthquake in Crete on October 12, 2013

Tommaso Maggipinto, Pier Francesco Biagi, Roberto Colella, Luigi Schiavulli, Teresa Ligonzo, Anita Ermini, Giovanni Martinelli, Iren Moldovan, Hugo Silva, Michael Contadakis, Christos Skeberis, Zaharias Zaharis, Emmanuel Scordilis, Konstantinos Katzis, Aydin Buyuksarac, Sebastiano D'Amico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


On October 12, 2013, an earthquake with Mw = 6.5 occurred in the southern Hellenic Arc, approximately 20 km off the west coast of Crete. The main shock, the focal depth of which is on the order of 40 km, was followed by aftershocks felt in the nearby cities and villages, although the aftershock sequence was poor. The epicentre was located at approximately 60 km from a radio receiver in Crete (CRE), which belongs to the European VLF/LF Radio Network. Several days before the earthquake, a clear disturbance occurred in one of the ten radio signals that the CRE receiver sampled. The disturbance, which can be considered an anomaly, appeared in the 216 kHz radio signal radiated by the Radio Monte Carlo (MCO) transmitter. The radio path MCO-CRE crossed directly over the epicentre area of the aforementioned earthquake. In this work, we present a detailed analysis of the MCO signal anomaly using spectral tools. We also investigate the behaviour of other radio signals sampled by the CRE receiver and consider other possible causes of disturbances on the MCO radio signal. We conclude that the disturbance in the MCO radio signal is a convincingly possible precursor of the earthquake in Crete. Emission of electromagnetic waves with a frequency band that includes 216 kHz from the focal zone of the earthquake can provide a satisfactory explanation of the radio anomaly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth
Early online date20 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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