Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
30 Jan 2007
30 Jan 2007

A perturbation of DC electric field caused by light ion adhesion to aerosols during the growth in seismic-related atmospheric radioactivity

V. M. Sorokin, A. K. Yaschenko, and M. Hayakawa

Abstract. The influence of variations in conductivity and external electric current variations in the lower atmosphere on DC electric field over a seismic region is investigated. The external current is formed with the occurrence of convective upward transport of charged aerosols and their gravitational sedimentation in the atmosphere. This effect is related with the occurrence of ionization source due to seismic-related emanation of radon and other radioactive elements into the lower atmosphere. An increase in atmosphere radioactivity level results in the appearance of additional sources of ionization, and altitude dependence of the ion formation rate is calculated. Ionization source varies the atmospheric conductivity and the external current through appearance of ions with equilibrium number density and their adhesion to aerosols. We have calculated the perturbation of conductivity and external electric current as a function of altitude. Variation of conductivity and external current in the lower atmosphere leads to a perturbation of electric current which flows in the global atmosphere-ionosphere circuit. Finally, perturbations of DC electric field both on the Earth's surface and in the ionosphere are estimated.