Earthquakes, Gravity Waves, And Ionospheric Hot Spots

“The animation above shows how waves of energy from the Tohoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, piercing through into Earth’s upper atmosphere in the vicinity of Japan, disturbing the density of electrons in the ionosphere. These disturbances were monitored by tracking GPS signals between satellites and ground receivers.

The disturbance measurements, known as vertical total electron content (VTEC), have been filtered to show wave-like disturbances in ionospheric electron density with frequencies between 0.5 and 5 milihertz (periods between 33 minutes and 3.3 minutes), similar to the frequency of a tsunami.

A model of ocean tsunami wavefronts [Song, 2007, Geophysical Research Letters] is overlaid in blue to show the correlation between variations in the ionosphere above and ocean surface below. Note that traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs), visible throughout the animation, are correlated with the position of the tsunami.

The earlier TIDs are likely associated with acoustic (longitudinal) and Rayleigh (transverse) waves caused by the earthquake itself, while later, slower-moving TIDs may be associated with atmospheric internal gravity waves caused by both the earthquake and the tsunami. The colorbar at right shows the magnitude of VTEC perturbation in the ionosphere in TECU (1 TECU = 10^12 electrons per square centimeter), while the left colorbar shows the size of the sea surface waves, in meters.

Notes of Interest:

• The main shock of the earthquake occurs at 05:46 UT (soon after the start of the movie).
• The earthquake disturbs the atmosphere, creating acoustic and Rayleigh waves, which propagate up to the ionosphere (reaching a peak in ionization at an altitude of 300 kilometers) within 10 minutes after the quake.
• These fast-moving waves (1,000 meters per second for acoustic, 3,400 meters per second for Rayleigh) are visible in ionospheric Total Electron Content (TEC) measurements, as annotated in the movie.
• The tsunami also disturbs the atmosphere, creating gravity waves that take approximately 30 to 40 minutes to reach the ionosphere. These gravity waves match the horizontal speed of the tsunami at the time they were generated, moving 200 to 300 meters per second.
• The annotations point out gravity waves as observed in the ionosphere, sometimes aligning with the modeled ocean tsunamis (shown in blue).
• Note the gravity waves traveling over and to the west of Japan, despite the tsunami stopping at the coast. It is likely that the gravity waves persisted in the ionosphere for some significant amount of time after the ocean waves stopped.
• (Some noise in the measurements can be seen at very low elevation angles, meaning points that are very distant from Japan. Such noise is due to the radio waves from the GPS satellites traveling through a longer portion of the ionosphere, and being subject to the integrated ionospheric variations along that path.)”
credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
It is interesting how earthquakes can affect even the very fringe of the atmosphere around Earth, while the earthquake is happening. But what about BEFORE an earthquake hits? Can anything be detected or measured beforehand, which may predict an earthquake is about to happen? 
What follows is one possibility….

Picture source;

According to Technology Review, there was  “some fascinating data from the DEMETER spacecraft showing a significant increase in ultra-low frequency radio signals before the magnitude 7 Haiti earthquake in January 2010. 

Dimitar Ouzounov at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland and a few buddies presented the data from the Great Tohoku earthquake which devastated Japan on 11 March, 2011..They say that before the M9 earthquake, the total electron content of the ionosphere increased dramatically over the epicentre, reaching a maximum three days before the quake struck.

What researchers theorize is that plates get stressed and start releasing large amounts of radon, which then affects the air all the way up into the ionosphere, via something called the Lithosphere Atmosphere Ionosphere Coupling mechanism. This all happens days before the earthquake hits. Could this be a new way to predict earthquakes? Only time and more research will tell. 

Some people even believe that HAARP may have something to do with earthquakes. They say that HAARP can generate enough destabilizing energy so that earthquakes are the result. For more information on this, do a google search on HAARP and earthquakes. 

For those who may want to travel around the world and find where the next earthquake may happen BEFORE it actually hits, whether it is being caused by natural or human caused reasons, the following story may be of interest. 

“NASA-funded researchers released to the general public a new “4D” live model of Earth’s ionosphere. Without leaving home, anyone can fly through the layer of ionized gas that encircles Earth at the edge of space itself. All that’s required is a connection to the Internet.
“This is an exciting development,” says solar physicist Lika Guhathakurta of NASA headquarters in Washington, DC. “The ionosphere is important to pilots, ham radio operators, earth scientists and even soldiers. Using this new 4D tool, they can monitor and study the ionosphere as if they’re actually inside it.”
The ionosphere is, in a sense, our planet’s final frontier. It is the last wisp of Earth’s atmosphere that astronauts leave behind when they enter space. The realm of the ionosphere stretches from 50 to 500 miles above Earth’s surface where the atmosphere thins to near-vacuum and exposes itself to the fury of the sun. Solar ultraviolet radiation breaks apart molecules and atoms creating a globe-straddling haze of electrons and ions.
Ham radio operators know the ionosphere well. They can communicate over the horizon by bouncing their signals off of the ionosphere—or communicate not at all when a solar flare blasts the ionosphere with X-rays and triggers a radio blackout. The ionosphere also has a big impact on GPS reception.

Before a GPS satellite signal reaches the ground, it must first pass through ionospheric gases that bend, reflect and attenuate radio waves. Solar and geomagnetic storms that unsettle the ionosphere can cause GPS position errors as large as 100 meters. Imagine a pilot flying on instruments descending toward a landing strip only to discover it is a football field to the right.

“Understanding the ionosphere is clearly important. That’s why NASA’s Living with a Star (LWS) program funded this work,” says Guhathakurta, LWS program scientist. Space Environment Technologies, Inc. of California received the LWS grant and they partnered with Space Environment Corp. of Utah and the US Air Force to develop the 4D ionosphere.”

To download Google Earth in order to view the ionosphere live, go to and download/install Google Earth. 

Then “download one or more of following ES4D KML files to your computer:
Double-click or drag-drop the files selected above onto the Google Earth application icon. In Google Earth, select one or more the desired views under Places.

Select optional Google Earth Views:
Weather in the Layers sidebar
Terrain in the Layers sidebar
Grid (lat/long) under View Menu
Atmosphere under View Menu

Navigate using the zoom, tilt, and rotate sliders in the upper right corner. View a movie of the past 24 hours using the time slider with 1 movie selected. See this brief user guide for additional information.”


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Earthquakes, Gravity Waves, And Ionospheric Hot Spots; via A Green Road

Exploring the Inner and Outer Mysteries of Life