Ionospheric electron enhancement preceding the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake
Article first published online: 15 SEP 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 38, Issue 17, September 2011
How to Cite
2011), Ionospheric electron enhancement preceding the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L17312, doi:10.1029/2011GL047908.(
- Issue published online: 15 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 15 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 19 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Received: 25 APR 2011
- 2011 Tohoku earthquake;
 The 2011 March 11 Tohoku-Oki earthquake (Mw9.0) caused vast damages to the country. Large events beneath dense observation networks could bring breakthroughs to seismology and geodynamics, and here I report one such finding. The Japanese dense network of Global Positioning System (GPS) detected clear precursory positive anomaly of ionospheric total electron content (TEC) around the focal region. It started ∼40 minutes before the earthquake and reached nearly ten percent of the background TEC. It lasted until atmospheric waves arrived at the ionosphere. Similar preseismic TEC anomalies, with amplitudes dependent on magnitudes, were seen in the 2010 Chile earthquake (Mw8.8), and possibly in the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman (Mw9.2) and the 1994 Hokkaido-Toho-Oki (Mw8.3) earthquakes, but not in smaller earthquakes.