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Most destructive earthquakes nucleate at between 5-7 km and about 35-40 km depth. Before earthquakes, rocks are subjected to increasing stress. Not every stress increase leads to rupture. To understand preearthquake phenomena we note that igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks contain defects which, upon stressing, release defect electrons in the oxygen anion sublattice, known as positive holes. These charge carriers are highly mobile, able to flow out of stressed rocks into surrounding unstressed rocks. They form electric currents, which emit electromagnetic radiation, sometimes in pulses, sometimes sustained. The arrival of positive holes at the ground-air interface can lead to air ionization, often exclusively positive. Ionized air rising upward can lead to cloud condensation. The upward flow of positive ions can lead to instabilities in the mesosphere, to mesospheric lightning, to changes in the Total Electron Content (TEC) at the lower edge of the ionosphere, and electric field turbulences. Advances in deciphering the earthquake process can only be achieved in a broadly multidisciplinary spirit.
GPS data from the International GNSS Service (IGS) network were used to study the development of the severe geomagnetic storm of November 7-12, 2004, in the total electron content (TEC) on a global scale. The TEC maps were produced for analyzing the storm. For producing the maps over European and North American sectors, GPS measurements from more than 100 stations were used. The dense network of GPS stations provided TEC measurements with a high temporal and spatial resolution. To present the temporal and spatial variation of TEC during the storm, differential TEC maps relative to a quiet day (November 6, 2004) were created. The features of geomagnetic storm attributed to the complex development of ionospheric storm depend on latitude, longitude and local time. The positive, as well as negative effects were detected in TEC variations as a consequence of the evolution of the geomagnetic storm. The maximal effect was registered in the subauroral/auroral ionosphere during substorm activity in the evening and night period. The latitudinal profiles obtained from TEC maps for Europe gave rise to the storm-time dynamic of the ionospheric trough, which was detected on November 7 and 9 at latitudes below 50N. In the report, features of the response of TEC to the storm for European and North American sectors are analyzed.
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