Conjugate Effect of the 2011 Tohoku Reflected Tsunami-Driven Gravity Waves in the Ionosphere

Min Yang Chou, Jia Yue, Charles C.H. Lin, P. K. Rajesh, N. M. Pedatella

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the conjugate ionospheric disturbances triggered by the 2011 Tohoku-Oki reflected tsunami oceanic waves using the ground-based Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) total electron content (TEC) observations. We found that the equatorward and westward propagating nighttime medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MSTIDs) occurred over Japan and Australia simultaneously following the tsunami oceanic waves reflected by the Emperor Seamount Chain in the northern hemisphere. The atmospheric gravity waves driven by reflected tsunami oceanic waves are hypothesized to be the source to trigger the conjugate MSTIDs by transporting the polarization electric fields along the field line to the conjugate hemisphere. Moreover, only the southwestward propagating MSTIDs have this conjugate effect, which could be due to the wavefront orientation. The Perkins instability could also be involved in the interhemispheric coupling process. This study provides the first observational evidence that the reflected tsunami can induce conjugate ionospheric disturbances through electrodynamic forcing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL097170
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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