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In solar–terrestrial physics, there is an open question: does a geomagnetic storm affect earthquakes? We expand research in this direction, analyzing the seismic situation after geomagnetic storms (GMs) accompanied by the precipitation of relativistic electrons from the outer radiation belt to form an additional radiation belt (RB) around lower geomagnetic lines. We consider four widely discussed cases in the literature for long-lived (weeks, months) RBs due to GMs and revealed that the 1/GMs 24 March 1991 with a new RB at L~2.6 was followed by an M7.0 earthquake in Alaska, 30 May 1991, near footprint L = 2.69; the 2/GMs 29 October 2003 (Ap = 204) with new RB first in the slot region at L = 2–2.5 cases followed by an M7.8 earthquake on 17 November 2003 at the Aleutian Islands near footprint L = 2.1, and after forming an RB at L~1.5 which lasted for ~26 months, two mega quakes, M9.1 in 2004 and M8.6 in 2005, occurred at the globe; the 3/GMs 3 September 2012 with a new RB at L= 3.0–3.5 was followed by an M7.8 earthquake in Canada near footprint L = 3.2; and the 4/GMs 21 June 2015 with a new RB at L = 1.5–1.8 was followed by an M6.3 earthquake on 7 September 2015 in New Zealand, near footprint L = 1.58. The obtained results suggest that (1) major earthquakes occur near the footprints of geomagnetic lines filled with relativistic electrons precipitating from the outer radiation belt due to geomagnetic storms, and (2) the time delay between geomagnetic storm onset and earthquake occurrence may vary from several weeks to several months. The results may expand the framework for developing mathematical magnetosphere–ionosphere coupling models.


This article was originally published in Remote Sensing, volume 16, in 2024.

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