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Historical earthquakes registered in Chile (from 1900 up to 2015) with epicenters located between 17 ?30' S and 56 ?0' S latitude and yearly mean total sunspot number have been considered in order to evaluate a significant linkage between them. The occurrence of strong earthquakes along Chile and the sunspots activity are analyzed to inspect possible influence of solar cycles on earthquakes. The cross wavelet transform and wavelet coherence analysis were applied for sequences of sunspots and earthquakes activity. An 8 - 12 years modulation of earthquakes activity has been identified.

Many terrestrial processes show trends and changes in the long-term: global temperature, geomagnetic activity and Earth’s rotation. It is a challenge to find a relationship between them and also to identify possible extraterrestrial factors that may contribute to these changes in the long-term.

The major source of energy near the Earth is the Sun, therefore it is natural to think about a connection between different elements of solar activity and terrestrial pro- cesses.

The aim of this work is to find statistical relationships between the number of sunspots and earthquakes in Chile.

Earthquakes distribution on the earth’s surface is not homogeneous; they generally occur in areas with different tectonic boundaries. One example is the largest earthquake of magnitude Ms = 9.5 which occurred in Valdivia on May 22, 1960 (the largest in the history of mankind), originated due to the sudden movement of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate. The contact zone between the plates was located about 130 km from the coast to the west. Chile is one of the countries with the most seismic activity in the world. One destructive earthquake occurred every ten years in the last century [

In previously published work, seismic periodicities in different countries were analyzed as in [

Several authors have researched solar activity and its connection with seismic activity [

Reference [

Statistical studies related to solar activity were previously published by [

Reference [

In this paper, surface seismic magnitude values (M_{S}) for earthquakes in Chile and the yearly mean total sunspots number (SSN) were studied using:

・ Periodograms obtained by fast Fourier transform;

・ Cross Wavelet Transform and wavelet coherence analysis.

The number of sunspots (SSN) is the index that measures the number and size of sunspots. Yearly mean total sunspot number is obtained by taking a simple arithmetic mean of the daily total sunspot number over all days of each year. The values were obtained by the World Data Center for the production, preservation and dissemination of the international sunspot number (WDC-SILSO, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels) and are shown in

The Ms magnitude is the surface wave magnitude of earthquakes. It is a measure of seismic activity. The annual seismic data were obtained through the Servicio Sismológico from the Universidad de Chile (http://www.sismologia.cl/). Annual averages of earthquakes with M_{s} ≥ 7 for the period 1900-2015 were considered, see

To estimate the periodicities of M_{S} and SSN, power spectra were performed. In _{S} series is presented in the terms of time. Predominant peaks around 4; 4.5; 5.5; 9; 11 and 13.5 are observed.

In

Other papers | |||
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Du Xinxing, 1997 | Madhava Rao and Kaila, 1986 | Liritzis and Tsapanos, 1992 | |

Periodicities | 7; 14; 22 and 42 years. | 3 to 12 years. | 3; 4.5; 6.5; 8; 9; 14 - 20 and 31 - 34 years. |

1938) who discovered solar spots due to the action of the solar magnetic field limiting the sun radiation emission. In 1961, Harold Babcock and Horace Babcock observed that this magnetic field has two perpendicular components between them: the polar and toroidal that invert the polarity after each Schwave cycle, therefore a whole cycle corresponds to Hale cycle [

The temporal correlation between annual averages MS (energy release sequences of strong earthquakes in Chile) and SSN (Sunspots Number) were analyzed using the Continuous Wavelet Transform (CWT) as a band-pass filter. A wavelet is a function that is localized in time and frequency. Morlet wavelet (1) (with ω_{0} = 6) was utilized because it provides a good balance between time and frequency localization:

where ω_{0} is dimensionless frequency and η is dimensionless time.

We examined the two time series together to find a link in some way. From two CWTs we constructed the Cross Wavelet Transform (XWT) which will expose their common power and relative phase in time-frequency space. We used the cross wavelet transform (XWT) for examining relationships in time frequency space between both time series. The theoretical distribution of cross wavelet transform of two time series is given in [

http://noc.ac.uk/using-science/crosswavelet-wavelet-coherence. The result is showed in

We applied a measure of Wavelet Transform Coherence (WTC) between the two CWTs, to find significant coherence, if the two series are physically related we would expect a consistent or slowly varying phase. Monte Carlo methods are used to calculate the statistical significance against red noise backgrounds.

Wavelet Transform Coherence (WTC) of the SSN and Ms are shown in

From the above analysis, it can conclude that wavelets provide a new tool for the comparition of the periods of earthquakes activity and solar activity.

It could be a possible qualitative mechanism caused by solar activity that would influence seismic activity (proposed [

A summary of the effects of solar activity on the seismic activity should include the following elements:

・ pressure pulses associated with fast solar wind or CME that compresses the magnetosphere;

・ auroralelectrojet would be strengthened;

・ atmospheric gravity waves would be generated and transmitted to lower altitudes;

・ zonal winds would be strengthened westward;

・ changes in surface air pressure;

・ pressure balance of tectonic plates would be interrupted and tension accumulation is enough to trigger seismic activity.

By using the method of Fast Fourier Transform to study the periodicity in M_{S} for the last hundred years, periodicities of 4; 4.5; 5.5; 9; 11 and 13.5 were found for earthquakes. Some of these results were previously obtained (see

According to the statistical study done, periodicities of approximately 8 - 12 years are observed in both SSN and M_{S}. Similar periodicities are also observed in the orbital movements and orbital synodical of large planets. Reference [

From the study of the temporal correlation between SSN y M_{S}, it was applied an independent method based on Wavelet Transform (squared WTC) [

It can be inferred that there is a connection between solar and seismic activities.

This study does not include the prediction of earthquakes. In order to do so, it should also be taken into account the Sun-Earth interaction as an extra variable.

This research work is part of project No. 20020090100131 (UBACYT), Argentina.

Larocca, P.A. (2016) Application of the Cross Wavelet Transform to Solar Activity and Major Earthquakes Occurred in Chile. International Journal of Geosciences, 7, 1310-1317. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ijg.2016.711095