A large earthquake of 7.8 magnitude occurred on 25 April 2015, 06:26 UTC, with the epicenter in Nepal. Here, taking advantage of measurements provided by the Swarm magnetic satellites, we investigate the possibility to detect some series of pre-earthquake magnetic anomalous signals, likely due to a lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere coupling, that can be a potential earthquake precursory pattern. Different techniques have been applied to Swarm data available during two months around earthquake occurrence. From the detected magnetic anomalies series (during night and magnetically quiet times or with an automatic detection algorithm), we show that the cumulative number of anomalies follows the same typical power-law behavior of a critical system approaching its critical time, and hence recovers as the typical recovery phase after a large event. The similarity of this behavior with the one obtained from seismic data analysis and the application of the analyses also to another period without significant seismicity do support a lithospheric-linked origin of the observed magnetic anomalies. We suggest that they might be connected to the preparation phase of the Nepal earthquake.

Authors: 
De Santis A. Balasis, G., Pavón-Carrasco, F.J., Cianchini, G., Mandea M.
Journal: 
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 461, 119-126, 2017
Publication Year: 
2017
DOI: 
10.1016/j.epsl.2016.12.037