At 17:47 UT on 20 September 1999, a large earthquake of magnitude M w 7.6 struck the central Taiwan near a small town of Chi-Chi. The ground-based receivers of the global positioning system (GPS) in the Taiwan area detected coseismic ionospheric disturbances (CIDs) in the total electron content (TEC) triggered by the Chi-Chi earthquake. When the CIDs travel away from the origin on the Earth surface and then propagate into the ionosphere, their amplitudes and periods generally become smaller and longer, respectively. Moreover, two global grid searches, adapting the ray-tracing and the beam-forming techniques, have been used to analyze the observed GPS TEC. We have not only estimated the average speed of the CIDs propagating in the atmosphere and ionosphere but also determined the location of CID origin on the Earth surface by using the two techniques. The results show that the observed CIDs result from shock-acoustic waves triggered by sudden and large vertical motions of the Chi-Chi earthquake.
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