Driving Source of Change for Ionosphere before Large Earthquake -Vertical Ground Motion-

Chia Hung Chen, Oyama Koichiro, Hau Kun Jhuang, Uma Das

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper discusses the relationship between the vertical ground motion and ionospheric disturbances before the Kumamoto earthquake on 16 April 2016, in Kyushu, Japan, using the vertical ground motion measured by slant gauges widely distributed in Kyushu, and the NmF2 observed by ionosondes in Japan and another region. We provide evidence that vertical ground motion excites internal gravity waves (IGWs) that disturb changes in the ionospheric plasma density. From the spectral analysis results of the vertical ground motion data, the summation of various period (frequency) components analyzed from the original data of the slant gauge shows a possible correlation with the change of NmF2 before the earthquake. On the other hand, the influence of the geomagnetic disturbance on vertical ground motion seems to exist. However, we cannot confirm that vertical ground motion is influenced by the geomagnetic disturbance (Kp index) and that the earthquake is triggered by the geomagnetic disturbance. There are two conditions for the vertical ground motion to disturb variations in the ionospheric plasma density: (1) The effective vertical ground motion period should be shorter than 5 h. In addition, (2) vertical ground motion should continue to exist so that wave energy can be continuously injected into the atmosphere. A possible mechanism with which to modify the ionosphere is discussed. The results of this study can provide a basis for the future ionospheric precursors of earthquakes by using the vertical ground motion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4556
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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