A model of TEC perturbations possibly related to seismic activity

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Valery Sorokin
Victor Novikov


For application of observed anomalies of the total electron content (TEC) in the ionosphere for short-term earthquake prediction, it is necessary to understand the physical nature of such anomalies during the preparation of a strong seismic event. The physical mechanism of occurrence of such anomalies is considered in order to distinguish the TEC disturbance of a seismic origin and to clear the processes in the lithosphere resulted in an appearance of the TEC anomaly in the ionosphere. It is supposed that the observed TEC anomalies arise as a result of occurrence of additional electric field in the ionosphere demonstrated by numerous satellite data before the impending earthquakes. At the same time, an injection of charged aerosols into the atmosphere in the epicentral earthquake area was detected. As a result, an electromotive force arises in the surface layer of the atmosphere, which initiates a perturbation of the electric current in the global circuit and the electric field appearance in the ionosphere. We have shown that the TEC disturbance arises as a result of the heating of the ionosphere by electric current and the plasma drift in the electric field of this current. The spatial distribution of TEC arises as a result of the combined action of these two factors, and its nature depends on the relationship between them. Based on the developed model the numerical study of the spatial distribution of TEC in the ionosphere is possible for a given horizontal distribution of the concentration of charged aerosols in the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface.

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How to Cite
Sorokin, V. and Novikov, V. (2023) “A model of TEC perturbations possibly related to seismic activity”, Annals of Geophysics, 66(6), p. SE642. doi: 10.4401/ag-8991.
Special Issue: Developments in Earthquake Precursors Studies
Author Biography

Victor Novikov, Joint Institute for High Temperatures of RAS

Head of Laboratory of Pulsed MHD Power Systems for Geophysics

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