Articles | Volume 11, issue 12
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 3125–3133, 2011

Special issue: Progress in research on earthquake precursors

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 3125–3133, 2011

Research article 02 Dec 2011

Research article | 02 Dec 2011

Electric field and infrared radiation in the troposphere before earthquakes

V. A. Liperovsky1, C.-V. Meister2, V. V. Mikhailin4, V. V. Bogdanov3, P. M. Umarkhodgaev4, and E. V. Liperovskaya1 V. A. Liperovsky et al.
  • 1Institute of Physics of the Earth of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Bolshaya Gruzinskaya 10, 123995 Moscow, Russia
  • 2Institut für Kernphysik, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Schlossgartenstr. 9, 64289 Darmstadt, Germany
  • 3Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Radio Wave Propagation, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 684034 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia
  • 4Institute of Nuclear Physics, Lomonossov State University, Moscow, Russia

Abstract. Some years ago, a model of the generation of local electric fields in the atmosphere a few days before earthquakes and up to a few days after the seismic shock was proposed. In the model, the generation of the electric fields occurs because of an increased ionisation intensity of the atmosphere in the presence of aerosols. The generation of the electric field is the result of the fact that the larger aerosols, which are mainly negatively charged, have a larger velocity of gravitational precipitation than the smaller, which are mainly positively charged aerosols. The ionisation in such atmospheric regions is caused by radon, the concentration of which increases in earthquake preparation regions. The formation of mosaic-likely distributed areas of electric fields with intensities of 3 × 102 – 105 Vm−1 and, on the other hand, large areas with increased electrical conductivity cause a series of physical effects, e.g. the occurrence of infrared emissions with a specific spectrum, which may be studied using earth-based, atmospheric and satellite observations. In the present paper, the model of the generation of local electric fields is further developed, improving the description of the force balance on the aerosols in the atmosphere. A recently proposed laboratory experiment is briefly discussed, which is carried out to prove the theoretically predicted intensification of infrared emissions some hours-days before earthquakes. Besides the experiment described, it will be operated on Kamchatka in the near future to scan mosaic-likely distributed regions of electric fields in the atmosphere during earthquake preparation times.