Ionospheric disturbances observed coincident with the 2006 and 2009 North Korean underground nuclear tests

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Abstract

[1] Acoustic-Gravity Waves (AGWs) in the neutral atmosphere can induce disturbances in the ionosphere that are subsequently observable in trans-ionospheric Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) measurements. Disruptive events on the Earth's surface, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and large explosions are one source of these disturbances. In this study, we apply wavelet analysis to enhance a cross-correlation technique for detecting the presence of ionospheric disturbances in dual frequency GNSS time series collected from the GEONET (Japan) during the North Korean Underground Nuclear Tests (UGTs) conducted on 9 October 2006 and 25 May 2009. Through use of the wavelet coherence analysis, we are able to find significant wave trains in the Integrated Electron Content (IEC) data collected from the network. Low frequency disturbances, with periods between 3 and 12 min and horizontal propagation speeds between 75 and 453 m/s were found coincident with both the 2006 and 2009 events. High frequency disturbances, with periods between 2 and 5 min and horizontal speeds between 297 and 1322 m/s were found only after the 2009 event. The disturbances extracted from these signals showed propagation speeds, directions, and times of arrival coincident with the reported geographic location and times of the UGTs.

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