Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Did Earthquake in Turkey Rile Up the Ionosphere?

(UN World Food Programme map via reliefnet.int)
When a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck an area in eastern Turkey on January 24, hams from the country's national amateur radio association provided tactical communications in the affected area and, according to the ARRL Letter, helped the Ministry of Health get a mountaintop repeater installed and operational. 
Half a world away, meanwhile, the earthquake may have been making an impact on the ionosphere. Newsline reports that hams operating the North American "Noontime Net" on 40 meters noted "an attenuation of the amateur bands" at nearly the exact time that the quake occurred. It says researchers are studying possible links between earthquakes and propagation, noting that stresses in rocks along a fault line just before a quake cause the release of positive ions into the atmosphere. Those ions then rise into the upper atmosphere, says the report, possibly causing anomalies in the ionosphere.