Propagation of the initial ionospheric total electron content (TEC) disturbances generated by the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake at 05:46:23 UT on March 11, 2011, was investigated with ground-based Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers in the east-Asian region. It was found that the initial ionospheric disturbance formed a zonal wave front after the earthquake occurrence. Four zonal wave fronts of this initial ionospheric disturbance were observed to travel southward from Japan to Taiwan with a velocity of about 1,000- 1,700 m/s. This study further found that the direction of the wave vector rotated from the south-southwest to the south-southeast as it traveled from Japan to Taiwan. The meridional propagation of the coseismic ionospheric disturbances is consistent with those observed after previous intense earthquakes. The temporal evolutions of initial ionospheric disturbances, after the earthquake, near the epicenter was observed in two-dimensions. The directivity of the disturbances was caused by a geomagnetic field effect.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science