A large scale of abnormities from ground-based electromagnetic parameters to ionospheric parameters has been recorded during the Wenchuan MS8.0 earthquake. All these results present different anomalous periods, but there seems one common climax leading to a lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere electromagnetic coupling (LAIEC) right on May 9, 3 days prior to the Wenchuan main shock. Based on the electron-hole theory, this chapter attempts to estimate the “energy source” magnitude driving this obvious coupling with the Wenchuan focus zone parameters considered. The simulation results show that the total surface charges fall in ~107–108 C, and the related upward electric field is ~108–109 V/m. These corresponding parameters are up to 109 C and 1010 V/m when the main rupture happens, and the order of the output current is up to 107 A. The electric field increasing in the interface between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere, on one hand, can cause electromagnetic parameter abnormities of ground-based observation, with the range beyond 1000 km. On the other hand, it can accumulate air ionization above pre-earthquake zone and lead to ionospheric anomaly recorded by some spatial seismic monitoring satellites.
Part of the book: Earthquakes