Study of the lower hybrid resonance frequency over the regions of gathering earthquakes using DEMETER data

Abstract : Variations of plasma distribution and/or wave spectral features in the ionosphere were suggested by many authors as possible earthquake precursors, and the change of plasma density and temperature above seismic regions were reported in the literature. These quantities are known to influence the lower hybrid resonance (LHR) frequency profiles in the upper ionosphere and the magnetosphere, which, in turn, strongly affects the propagation of quasi-resonance VLF waves with frequencies f close to the maximum of the LHR frequency on the propagation path. This makes the VLF signals a tool of registration of ionospheric perturbations. Using the measurements from the DEMETER satellite for 3 yr we have calculated the maps of LHR frequency over the globe, and the maps of VLF spectral intensity at the frequencies of Alpha navigation transmitters. These maps demonstrate a significant dependence of the spectral intensity in the transmitter conjugate region on the relation between the signal frequency and the LHR frequency above the observation point. Then, using the DEMETER data and the earthquake database from the US geological survey server we have performed statistical analysis of the LHR frequency over seismic regions and found an appreciably different behaviour of the LHR frequency before earthquakes, as compared to its regular behaviour, for several seismic regions. Although this difference is statistically significant, in each particular case the ionospheric perturbations may be related to different processes in the Earth's atmosphere, ionosphere, and the magnetosphere, other than gathering earthquakes. Thus, the unexpected variations in the LHR frequency profile, revealed from the variations of VLF transmitter signals, should only be considered as one indicator in a list of possible earthquake precursors.
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D.I. Vavilov, D.R. Shklyar, E.E. Titova, Michel Parrot. Study of the lower hybrid resonance frequency over the regions of gathering earthquakes using DEMETER data. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Elsevier, 2013, 100-101, ⟨10.1016/j.jastp.2013.03.019⟩. ⟨insu-01291266⟩



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