Bernardini, P (reprint author), Univ Salento, Dipartimento Matemat & Fis Ennio De Giorgi, Via Arnesano, I-73100 Lecce, Italy.
The geomagnetic field causes not only the east-west effect on primary cosmic rays but also affects the trajectories of the secondary charged particles in the shower, causing their lateral distribution to be stretched. Thus, both the density of the secondaries near the shower axis and the trigger efficiency of detector arrays decrease. The effect depends on the direction of the showers, thus, introducing a modulation in the measured azimuthal distribution. The azimuthal distribution of the events collected by the ARGO-YBJ detector is deeply investigated for different zenith angles in light of this effect.