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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 32, issue 9
Ann. Geophys., 32, 1153–1161, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-32-1153-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 32, 1153–1161, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-32-1153-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 16 Sep 2014

Regular paper | 16 Sep 2014

On the man-made contamination on ULF measurements: evidence for disturbances related to an electrified DC railway

U. Villante1,2, A. Piancatelli1,3, and P. Palangio1 U. Villante et al.
  • 1Area di Ricerca in Astrogeofisica, L'Aquila, Italy
  • 2Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Scienze dell'Informazione e Matematica, Universitá degli Studi dell'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
  • 3Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche e Chimiche, Università degli Studi dell'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy

Abstract. An analysis of measurements performed at L'Aquila (Italy) during a deep minimum of solar and magnetospheric activity (2008–2010) allowed for the evaluation of possible contamination of the ultralow-frequency (ULF) spectrum (f ≈ 1–500 mHz) from artificial disturbances, practically in absence of natural signals. In addition, the city evacuation and the interruption of all industrial and social activities after the strong earthquake of 6 April 2009 allowed also for the examination of possible changes of the contamination level under remarkably changed environmental conditions. Our analysis reveals a persistent, season-independent, artificial signal, with the same characteristics in the H and Z components, that affects during daytime hours the entire spectrum; such contamination persists after the city evacuation. We speculate that the DC electrified railway (located ≈ 33 km from the Geomagnetic Observatory of L'Aquila, it maintained the same train traffic after the earthquake) is responsible for the observed disturbances.

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