Journal of Seismology

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1499–1513 | Cite as

Earthquake precursory signatures in electromagnetic radiation measurements in terms of day-to-day fractal spectral exponent variation: analysis of the eastern Aegean 13/04/2017–20/07/2017 seismic activity

  • Demetrios CantzosEmail author
  • Dimitrios Nikolopoulos
  • Ermioni Petraki
  • Panayotis Yannakopoulos
  • Constantinos Nomicos


The recent seismic activity in the eastern Aegean Sea, foregrounded by two major (ML = 6.1 and ML = 6.2) earthquakes occurring near Lesvos and Kos islands, respectively, is investigated in this work. Electromagnetic radiation measurements across different frequency bands and antenna orientations from a monitoring station in Agia Paraskevi, Lesvos Island, are analysed in order to reveal earthquake precursory signatures hidden in the electromagnetic data sequence. A straightforward, data-driven approach is employed in which day-to-day variations of the fractal characteristics of the measurements are adaptively monitored via a fractal spectral exponent similarity measure. The evolution of the fractal day-to-day variation in a 99-day period, which includes the two major earthquakes, shows a sustained, sudden increase lasting 1 to 4 days before every earthquake cluster of ML = 4.0 and above. Most importantly, this day-to-day variation subsides shortly after and remains relatively low during the absence of earthquakes, thus alleviating the emergence of false alarms.


Earthquake precursors Remote sensing Radiation monitoring Fractal analysis 


  1. Bahat D, Rabinovitch A, Frid V (2005) Tensile fracturing in rocks: Tectonofractographic and EM radiation methods. Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp 1–570Google Scholar
  2. Balasis G, Mandea M (2007) Can EM disturbances related to the recent great earthquakes be detected by satellite magnetometers? Tectonophysics 431:173–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balasis G, Daglis IA, Kapiris P, Mandea M, Vassiliadis D, Eftaxias K (2006) From pre-storm activity to magnetic storms: a transition described in terms of fractal dynamics. Ann Geophys 24:3557–3567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balasis G, Daglis I, Papadimitriou C, Kalimeri M, Anastasiadis A, Eftaxias K (2008) Dynamical complexity in Dst time series using non-extensive Tsallis entropy. Geophys Res Lett 35:L14102 (1-6)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Balasis G, Daglis I, Papadimitriou C, Kalimeri M, Anastasiadis A, Eftaxias K (2009) Investigating dynamical complexity in the magnetosphere using various entropy measures. J Geophys Res 114:A00D06CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Balasis G, Potirakis S, Mandea M (2016) Investigating dynamical complexity of geomagnetic jerks using various entropy measures. Front Earth Sci 4(71):1–10Google Scholar
  7. Cantzos D, Nikolopoulos D, Petraki E, Nomicos C, Yannakopoulos PH, Kottou S (2015) Identifying long-memory trends in pre-seismic MHz disturbances through support vector machines. J Earth Sci Clim Chang 6(3):1–9Google Scholar
  8. Cantzos D, Nikolopoulos D, Petraki E, Yannakopoulos PH, Nomicos CD (2016) Fractal analysis, information-theoretic similarities and SVM classification for multichannel, multi-frequency pre-seismic EM measurements. J Earth Sci Clim Chang 6(3):1–9Google Scholar
  9. Cicerone R, Ebel J, Britton J (2009) A systematic compilation of earthquake precursors. Tectonophysics 476:371–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Contoyiannis Y, Eftaxias K (2008) Tsallis and levy statistics in the preparation of an earthquake. Nonlinear Process Geophys 15:379–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Contoyiannis Y, Kapiris P, Eftaxias K (2005) Monitoring of a preseismic phase from its EM precursors. Phys Rev E 71(1–14):066123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dobrovolsky IP, Zubkov SI, Miachkin VI (1979) Estimation of the size of earthquake preparation zones. Pure Appl Geophys 117(5):1025–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eftaxias K (2010) Footprints of non-extensive Tsallis statistics, self-affinity and universality in the preparation of the L’Aquila earthquake hidden in a pre-seismic EM emission. Physica A 389:133–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eftaxias K, Kapiris P, Polygiannakis J, Bogris N, Kopanas J, Antonopoulos G, Peratzakis A, Hadjicontis V (2001) Signature of pending earthquake from EM anomalies. Geophys Res Lett 29:3321–3324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eftaxias K, Kapiris P, Dologlou E, Kopanas J, Bogris N, Kopanas I, Antonopoulos G, Peratzakis A, Hadjiconis V (2002) EM anomalies before the Kozani earthquake: a study of their behavior through laboratory experiments. Geophys Res Lett 29:69–1–69-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eftaxias K, Kapiris P, Balasis G, Peratzakis A, Karamanos K, Kopanas I, Antonopoulos G, Nomicos C (2006) Unified approach to catastrophic events: from the normal state to geological or biological shock in terms of spectral fractal and nonlinear analysis. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 6:205–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eftaxias K, Panin V, Deryugin Y (2007a) Evolution-EM signals before earthquakes in terms of meso-mechanics and complexity. Tectonophysics 431:273–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eftaxias K, Sgrigna V, Chelidze T (eds) (2007b) Mechanical and EM phenomena accompanying pre-seismic deformation: from laboratory to geophysical scale. Tectonophysics 431:1–301Google Scholar
  19. Eftaxias K, Contoyiannis Y, Balasis G, Karamanos K, Kopanas J, Antonopoulos G, Koulouras G, Nomicos C (2008) Evidence of fractional-Brownian-motion-type asperity model for earthquake generation in candidate pre-seismic EM emissions. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 8:657–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eftaxias K, Athanasopoulou L, Balasis G, Kalimeri M, Nikolopoulos S, Contoyiannis Y, Kopanas J, Antonopoulos G, Nomikos C (2009) Unfolding the procedure of characterizing recorded ultra low frequency, kHz and MHz EM anomalies prior to the L’Aquila earthquake as pre-seismic ones – part 1. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 9:1953–1971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Eftaxias K, Balasis G, Contoyiannis Y, Papadimitriou C, Kalimeri M, Kopanas J, Antonopoulos G, Nomicos C (2010) Unfolding the procedure of characterizing recorded ultra low frequency, kHZ and MHz EM anomalies prior to the L’Aquila earthquake as pre-seismic ones - part 2. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 10:275–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ghosh D, Deb A, Sengupta R (2009) Anomalous radon emission as precursor of earthquake. J Appl Geophys 69(2):67–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gotoh K, Hayakawa M, Smirnova N, Hattori K (2004) Fractal analysis of seismogenic ULF emissions. Phys Chem Earth 29:419–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hadjicontis V, Mavromatou C, Eftaxias K (2002) Preseismic earth’s feld anomalies recorded at Lesvos station, north-eastern Aegean. Acta Geophys Pol 50:151–158Google Scholar
  25. Hayakawa M (2007) VLF/LF radio sounding of ionospheric perturbations associated with earthquakes. Sensors 7:11411158Google Scholar
  26. Hayakawa M, Hobara Y (2010) Current status of seismo-EMs for short-term earthquake prediction. Geomat Nat Haz Risk 1:115–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hayakawa M, Ida Y and Gotoh K (2005) Multifractal analysis for the ULF geomagnetic data during the Guam earthquake. EM Compatibility and EM Ecology, 2005, IEEE 6th International Symposium on 21–24 June 2005, pp 239–243Google Scholar
  28. Hayakawa M, Yamauchi H, Ohtani N, Ohta M, Tosa S, Asano T, Schekotov A, Izutsu J, Potirakis SM, Eftaxias K (2016) On the precursory abnormal animal behavior and electromagnetic effects for the Kobe earthquake (M~6) on April 12, 2013. Open Journal of Earthquake Research 5(3):165–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Huang A (2008) Similarity measures for text document clustering. In Proceedings of the 6th New Zealand Computer Science Research Student Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, pp 49–56Google Scholar
  30. Kalimeri M, Papadimitriou C, Balasis G, Eftaxias K (2008) Dynamical complexity detection in pre-seismic emissions using non-additive Tsallis entropy. Physica A 387:1161–1172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kapiris P, Polygiannakis J, Peratzakis A, Nomicos K, Eftaxias K (2002) VHF-EM evidence of the underlying pre-seismic critical stage. Earth Planets Space 54:1237–1246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kapiris P, Eftaxias K, Nomikos K, Polygiannakis J, Dologlou E, Balasis G, Bogris N, Peratzakis A, Hadjicontis V (2003) Evolving towards a critical point: a possible EM way in which the critical regime is reached as the rupture approaches, nonlinear process. Geophys 10:511–524Google Scholar
  33. Kapiris P, Eftaxias K, Chelidze T (2004) EM signature of prefracture criticality in heterogeneous media. Phys Rev Lett 92:065702–1–065702–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kapiris P, Nomicos K, Antonopoulos G, Polygiannakis J, Karamanos K, Kopanas J, Zissos A, Peratzakis A, Eftaxias K (2005) Distinguished seismological and EM features of the impending global failure: did the 7/9/1999 M5.9 Athens earthquake come with a warning? Earth Planets Space 57:215–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Karamanos K, Peratzakis A, Kapiris P, Nikolopoulos S, Kopanas J, Eftaxias K (2005) Extracting preseismic EM signatures in terms of symbolic dynamics, nonlinear process. Geophys 12:835–848Google Scholar
  36. Karamanos K, Dakopoulos D, Aloupis K, Peratzakis A, Athanasopoulou L, Nikolopoulos S, Kapiris P, Eftaxias K (2006) Preseismic EM signals in terms of complexity. Phys Rev E 74:016104/1–016104/21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. King CY (1978) Radon emanation on San Andreas fault. Nature 271:516–519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Koulouras G, Kontakos K, Stavrakas I, Stonham J and Nomicos C (2005) A new data storage system designed for an embedded compact flash based data acquisition system. IEEE Circuit Devic Mag, Jul/Aug, 2734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kovachev SA (2008) Results of seismological oobservations in the western Kaliningrad region and in the Baltik Sea water area. Izv Phys Solid Earth 44(9):706–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Minadakis G, Potirakis S, Nomicos C, Eftaxias K (2012) Linking EM precursors with earthquake dynamics: an approach based on non-extensive fragment and self-affine asperity models. Physica A 391:2232–2244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Molchanov A, Kopytenko A, Voronov M, Kopytenko A, Matiashviali G, Fraser-Smith C, Bernardi A (1992) Results of ULF magnetic feld measurements near the epicenters of the Spitak (Ms= 6.9) and Loma-Prieta (Ms= 7.1) earthquakes: comparative analysis. Geophys Res Lett 19:1495–1498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nikolopoulos D, Petraki E, Marousaki A, Potirakis S, Koulouras G, Nomicos C, Panagiotaras D, Stonham J, Louizi A (2012) Environmental monitoring of radon in soil during a very seismicly active period occurred in South West Greece. J Environ Monit 14:564–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nikolopoulos D, Petraki E, Vogiannis E, Chaldeos Y, Giannakopoulos P, Kottou S, Nomicos C, Stonham J (2014) Traces of self-organisation and long-range memory in variations of environmental radon in soil: comparative results from monitoring in Lesvos Island and Ileia (Greece). J Radioanal Nucl Chem 299(1):203–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nikolopoulos D, Petraki E, Nomicos C, Koulouras G, Kottou S, Yannakopoulos PH (2015) Long-memory trends in disturbances of radon in soil prior ML=5.1 earthquakes of 17 November 2014 Greece. J Earth Sci Clim Change 6(244):1–11Google Scholar
  45. Nikolopoulos D, Cantzos D, Petraki E, Yannakopoulos PH, Nomicos CD (2016a) Traces of long-memory in pre-seismic MHz EM time series-Part1: investigation through the R/S analysis and time-evolving spectral fractals. J Earth Sci Clim Chang 7(7):1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nikolopoulos D, Petraki E, Cantzos D, Yannakopoulos PH, Panagiotaras D, Nomicos C (2016b) Fractal analysis of pre-seismic EM and radon precursors: a systematic approach. J Earth Sci Clim Change 7:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nomicos K, Vallianatos F (1998) EM variations associated with the seismicity of the frontal Hellenic arc. Geol Carpath 49(1):57–60Google Scholar
  48. Okada Y (1985) Surface deformation due to shear and tensile faults in a half-space. Bull Seismol Soc Am 75(4):11135–11154Google Scholar
  49. Papadopoulos I, Papazachos C, Savvaidis A, Theodoulidis V, Vallianatos F (2017) Seismic microzonation of the broader Chania basin area (southern Greece) from the joint evaluation of ambient noise and earthquake recordings. Bull Earthq Eng 15(3):861–888CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Parrot M, Tramutoli V, Liu JY, Pulinets S, Ouzounov D, Genzano N, Lisi M, Hattori K, Namgaladze A (2016) Atmospheric and ionospheric coupling phenomena related to large earthquakes. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci Discuss:1–30.
  51. Petraki E, Nikolopoulos D, Fotopoulos A, Panagiotaras D, Koulouras G, Zisos A, Nomicos C, Louizi A, Stonham J (2013a) Self-organised critical features in soil radon and MHz EM disturbances: results from environmental monitoring in Greece. Appl Radiat Isot 72:39–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Petraki E, Nikolopoulos D, Fotopoulos A, Panagiotaras D, Nomicos C, Yannakopoulos P, Kottou S, Zisos A, Louizi A, Stonham J (2013b) Long-range memory patterns in variations of environmental radon in soil. Anal Methods 5(16):4010–4020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Petraki E, Nikolopoulos D, Nomicos C, Stonham J, Cantzos D, Yannakopoulos P, Kottou S (2015a) EM pre-earthquake precursors: mechanisms, data and models-a review. J Earth Sci Clim Change 6(244):1–11Google Scholar
  54. Petraki E, Nikolopoulos D, Panagiotaras D, Cantzos D, Yannakopoulos P, Nomicos C, Stonham J (2015b) Radon-222: a potential short-term earthquake precursor. J Earth Sci Clim Change 6(6):1–11Google Scholar
  55. Petraki E, Nikolopoulos D, Chaldeos Y, Coulouras G, Nomicos C, Yannakopoulos PH, Kottou S, Stonham J (2016) Fractal evolution of MHz EM signals prior to earthquakes: results collected in Greece during 2009. Geomat Nat Haz Risk 7(2):550–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Potirakis SM, Minadakis G, Nomicos C, Eftaxias K (2011) A multidisciplinary analysis for traces of the last state of earthquake generation in preseismic EM emissions. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 11(10):2859–2879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Potirakis S, Minadakis G, Eftaxias K (2012) Analysis of EM pre-seismic emissions using fisher information and Tsallis entropy. Physica A 391:300–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Potirakis SM, Minadakis G, Eftaxias K (2013) Relation between seismicity and pre-earthquake EM emissions in terms of energy, information and entropy content. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 12(4):1179–1183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Potirakis SM, Contoyiannis Y, Melis N, Kopanas J, Antonopoulos G, Balasis G, Kontoes C, Nomicos C, Eftaxias K (2016) Recent seismic activity at Cephalonia (Greece): a study through candidate EM precursors in terms of non-linear dynamics. Nonlinear process. Geophys 23(4):223–240Google Scholar
  60. Ryu K, Parrot M, Kim SG, Jeong KS, Chae JS, Pulinets S, Oyama KI (2014) Suspected seismo-ionospheric coupling observed by satellite measurements and GPS TEC related to the M7.9 Wenchuan Earthquake of 12 May 2008. J Geophys Res Space Physics 119(12):1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sarlis N, Skordas E, Varotsos P, Nagao T, Kamogawa M, Tanaka H, Uyeda S (2013) Minimum of the order parameter fluctuations of seismicity before major earthquakes in Japan. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:13734–13738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schekotov A, Zhou HJ, Qiao XL, Hayakawa M (2016) ULF/ELF atmospheric radiation in possible association to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake as observed in China. Earth Sci Res J 5(2):47–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Skarlatoudis AA, Papazachos CB, Margaris BN, Theodulidis N, Papaioannou C, Kalogeras I, Scordilis EM, Karakostas V (2003) Empirical peak ground-motion predictive relations for shallow earthquakes in Greece. Bull Seismol Soc Am 93(6):2596–2603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Smirnova N, Hayakawa M (2007) Fractal characteristics of the ground-observed ULF emissions in relation to geomagnetic and seismic activities. J Atmos Sol-Terr Phys 69:1833–1841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Smirnova N, Hayakawa M, Gotoh K (2004) Precursory behaviour of fractal characteristics of the ULF EM fields in seismic active zones before strong earthquakes. Phys Chem Earth 29:445–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Surkov V, Uyeda S, Tanaka H, Hayakawa M (2002) Fractal properties of medium and seismoelectric phenomena. J Geodyn (4–5:477–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Uyeda S, Nagao T, Kamogawa M (2009) Short-term earthquake prediction: current status of seismo-EMs. Tectonophysics 470(3–4):205–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Varotsos P, Alexopoulos K (1984a) Physical properties of the variations of the electric field of the earth preceding earthquakes, I. Tectonophysics 110:7398Google Scholar
  69. Varotsos P, Alexopoulos K (1984b) Physical properties of the variations of the electric field of the earth preceding earthquakes, II. Tectonophysics 110:99125Google Scholar
  70. Varotsos P, Alexopoulos K, Lazaridou M (1993) Latest aspects of earthquake prediction in Greece based on seismic electric signals II. Tectonophysics 224:1–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Varotsos P, Sarlis N, Lazaridou M, Bogris N (1996) Statistical evaluation of earthquake prediction results. Comments on the success rate and alarm rate. Acta Geophys Pol 44(4):329–347Google Scholar
  72. Varotsos P, Sarlis N, Eftaxias K, Lazaridou M, Bogris N, Makris J, Abdulla A, Kapiris P (1999) Prediction of the 6.6 Grevena-Kozani earthquake of May 13, 1995. Phys Chem Earth 24:115–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Varotsos P, Sarlis N, Skordas E (2003) Electric fields that “arrive” before the time derivative of the magnetic field prior to major earthquakes. Phys Rev Lett 91:148501–1–148501–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Varotsos P, Sarlis N, Skordas E, Lazaridou M (2007) Electric pulses some minutes before earthquake occurrences. Appl Phys Lett 90:064104–1–064104–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Varotsos P, Sarlis N, Skordas E (2011) Scale-specific order parameter fluctuations of seismicity in natural time before main shocks. EPL (Europhys Lett) 96:59002-p1–59002-p6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Varotsos PA, Sarlis N, Skordas E, Christopoulos SG, Lazaridou MS (2015) Identifying the occurrence time of an impending mainshock: a very recent case. Earthq Sci 8(3):215–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Varotsos P, Sarlis N, Skordas E (2017) Identifying the occurrence time of an impending major earthquake: a review. Earthq Sci 17:1–10Google Scholar
  78. Yonaiguchi N, Ida Y, Hayakawa M, Masuda S (2007) Fractal analysis for VHF EM noises and the identification of preseismic signature of an earthquake. J Atmos Solar-Terrestrial Phys 69:1825–1832CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Automation EngineeringPiraeus University of Applied SciencesAigaleoGreece
  2. 2.Department of Electronic Computer Systems EngineeringPiraeus University of Applied SciencesAigaleoGreece
  3. 3.Department of Electronic EngineeringTEI of AthensAigaleoGreece

Personalised recommendations