Articles | Volume 8, issue 6
08 Dec 2008
 | 08 Dec 2008

Simple model for post seismic ionospheric disturbances above an earthquake epicentre and along connecting magnetic field lines

R. Marchand and J. J. Berthelier

Abstract. The detection of ionospheric disturbances associated with seismic activity is one of the main objectives of the DEMETER micro-satellite. Its scientific payload provides a comprehensive set of electron and ion measurements. The present work describes a simple model of post-seismic disturbances in the ionosphere above the epicentre. Following a major seism, the neutral atmosphere is assumed to be subject to an acoustic pulse propagating upward, to high altitudes. By coupling this perturbation to the two-dimensional ionospheric model SAMI2 it is then possible to calculate the variations in a number of plasma parameters in the plume region and along connecting magnetic field lines, for an event of representative magnitude. The feasibility of identifying the signature of seismic events from satellite observations is then assessed in view of representative DEMETER measurements and of their natural variability.