Pure and Applied Geophysics, 172(7), 1893–1908p. (2015) DOI:10.1007/s00024-014-0860-5

Influence of High Energy Electromagnetic Pulses on the Dynamics of the Seismic Process Around the Bishkek Test Area (Central Asia)

T. Matcharashvili, T. Chelidze, N. Zhukova

Investigation of dynamical features of the seismic process as well as the possible influence of different natural and man-made impacts on it remains one of the main interdisciplinary research challenges. The question of external influences (forcings) acquires new importance in the light of known facts on possible essential changes, which occur in the behavior of complex systems due to different relatively weak external impacts. Seismic processes in the complicated tectonic system are not an exclusion from this general rule. In the present research we continued the investigation of dynamical features of seismic activity in Central Asia around the Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) test area, where strong electromagnetic (EM) soundings were performed in the 1980s. The unexpected result of these experiments was that they revealed the impact of strong electromagnetic discharges on the microseismic activity of investigated area. We used an earthquake catalogue of this area to investigate dynamical features of seismic activity in periods before, during, and after the mentioned man-made EM forcings. Different methods of modern time series analysis have been used, such as wavelet transformation, Hilbert Huang transformation, detrended fluctuation analysis, and recurrence quantification analysis. Namely, inter-event (waiting) time intervals, inter-earthquake distances and magnitude sequences, as well as time series of the number of daily occurring earthquakes have been analyzed. We concluded that man-made high-energy EM irradiation essentially affects dynamics of the seismic process in the investigated area in its temporal and spatial domains; namely, the extent of order in earthquake time and space distribution increase. At the same time, EM influence on the energetic distribution is not clear from the present analysis. It was also shown that the influence of EM impulses on dynamical features of seismicity differs in different areas of the examined territory around the test site. Clear changes have been indicated only in areas which, according to previous researches, have been characterized by anomalous increase of average rates of strain release and thus can be regarded as close to the critical state.

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