A Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling Phenomenon Observed Before M 7.7 Jamaica Earthquake

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Adil M. A., Şentürk E., Pulinets S. A., Amory-Mazaudier C.

PURE AND APPLIED GEOPHYSICS, vol.178, no.10, pp.3869-3886, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 178 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00024-021-02867-z
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Compendex, Geobase, INSPEC
  • Page Numbers: pp.3869-3886
  • Keywords: LAIC model, earthquake precursors, atmospheric and ionospheric interaction, FORMOSAT-7, COSMIC-2, 2020 Jamaica EQ M 7, 7, PRECURSORS, RADON, VARIABILITY, MODEL
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


The satellite-based earth observations have become an appropriate instrumental approach in monitoring the natural hazards among modern-day researchers. This study presents a multi-parameter approach using precursors of different physical nature defining the states of atmosphere and the ionosphere in terms of temporal and spatial variations about 5 days before the impending M 7.7 Jamaican earthquake (EQ). We performed a comprehensive analysis from the surface to the ionosphere at different altitude levels by analyzing the different datasets comprising, surface air temperature, relative humidity, total column water vapor, air pressure, Outgoing Longwave Radiations (OLR), and the total electron content of the global ionosphere maps (GIM-TEC). We observed a sharp increment in the atmospheric chemical potential (ACP) due to the increased radon activity that led to an abrupt decrement in the atmospheric relative humidity and, consequently, increased OLR that provides strong evidence of the air ionization production around the epicenter of M 7.7 EQ. Moreover, to check the periodicity of these atmospheric parameters, we performed a confutation analysis by meticulously analyzing these parameters in the same month and region for the previous 5 years during the non-existence of any major seismicity. This technique confirmed that the simultaneous atmospheric variations observed before the Jamaica EQ are not cyclic in the absence of significant seismic activities. The ionospheric conditions have also shown consistency with atmospheric disturbances, as depletions in GIM-TECs, having an amplitude of 4 TECU, are observed over the epicenter for 6 h (LT = 13-19 (-- UT)) on January 23, 2020. Additionally, the vertical ionospheric and atmospheric profiles from FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (F7/C2), at different altitudes (75-225 km) over the EQ epicenter, showed significant depletions on January 23, 2020. These TEC variations are observed to be an effect of the vertical seismogenic electric field due to the production of the air ionization at the atmospheric boundary layer by increased radon activity around the seismic preparation zone. The existence of these co-located synchronized atmospheric and ionospheric anomalies is explicitly and persistently local over a small region of the epicenter of Jamaican EQ that could be considered as potential short-term precursors. Also, these multi-observed anomalies will contribute to the physical explanation of the Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling (LAIC) model.