We have computed perturbations in the nighttime mid-latitude F2 region ionosphere that could be produced by internal atmospheric gravity waves generated before strong earthquakes through ionospheric Joule heating due to the seismogenic electric field of short duration. There is a strong anisotropy of the atmospheric gravity wave effect with respect to the imminent earthquake epicentre, the electron density changes being maximum poleward and equatorward of the epicentre and being minimum eastward and westward of it. It should be noted that the duration of the electron density perturbation in the F2 region ionosphere is much longer than the duration of the primary precursor of an earthquake - the enhancement of the vertical electric field at the Earth's surface, which initiates the atmospheric gravity wave generation. This fact is important from the practical point of view of predicting catastrophic earthquakes.
- Internal atmospheric gravity waves
- Perturbations in the ionosphere
- Predicting catastrophic earthquakes
- Seismogenic electric field