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Seismology in the ionosphere? This is REAL!
Ionosphere as a natural indicator of numerous geophysical events

Final Report Summary - SIREAL (Seismology in the ionosphere? This is REAL! Ionosphere as a natural indicator of numerous geophysical events)

Ionosphere is a layer of charged particles of the upper atmosphere that is located between ~60 and 1000 km of altitude, and which is principally formed by the solar UV radiation. As a consequence, the ionosphere reflects the dynamics of the solar activity, but also that of the thermosphere and magnetosphere, as well as it is sensible to the occurrence of a variety of geophysical phenomena occurring on Earth, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions. The ionosphere, therefore, serves a natural detector for a number of geophysical phenomena, which can be separated into two main categories: impact from above (i.e. coming from the Sun, magnetosphere and thermosphere), and impact from below (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcano eruptions). The first is the main subject of the Task#2 of this project, while studying the latter forms the Task#1.

During the duration of this project (69 months), both tasks have been extensively developed: comprehensive analysis of the ionospheric response to impacts from above and from below have been performed by applying a multi-instrumental approach based on use of ground-based and space-borne instruments. This method allowed us discover new aspects of the ionospheric behaviour during geomagnetic storms, but also during periods of low geomagnetic activity. Also, during the project we demonstrated the possibility to detect and localize earthquakes and volcano eruptions from the ionosphere. For earthquakes, under some conditions, it is also possible to obtain information on the dimension of the seismic source, which is also a source for tsunamis. Our results open new possibilities for future applications for Earth and other planets.