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Features of the ionosphere behavior before the Kythira 2006 earthquake

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In this paper we present specific features of TEC (total electron content of the ionosphere) behavior as possible precursors of Kythira (Southern Greece) earthquake of January 8, 2006 (M6.8). For this purpose, we used both the TEC data of GPS-IGS stations nearest to the epicenter, and TEC maps over Europe. The favorable circumstance for this analysis was the quiet geomagnetic situation during the period prior to the earthquake. One day before the earthquake, a characteristic anomaly was found out as the day-time significant increase of TEC at the nearest stations, up to the value of 50% relative to the background condition. To estimate the spatial dimensions of seismo-ionospheric anomaly, the differential mapping method was used. The ionosphere modification as a cloud-like increase of electron concentration situated in the immediate vicinity of the forthcoming earthquake epicenter has been revealed. The amplitude of modification reached the value of 50% relative to the non-disturbed condition and was in existence from 10:00 till 22:00 UT. The area of significant TEC enhancement had a size of about 4000 km in longitude and 1500 km in latitude.
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