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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(8), 901;

Ionospheric Rayleigh Wave Disturbances Following the 2018 Alaska Earthquake from GPS Observations

1,2 and 2,3,*
School of Communication and Information Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030, China
School of Remote Sensing and Geomatics Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
PDF [5366 KB, uploaded 13 April 2019]


Big earthquakes often excite the acoustic resonance between the earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere. The perturbations can propagate upward into the ionosphere and trigger ionospheric anomalies detected by dual-frequency GPS observations, but coseismic ionospheric disturbance (CID) directivity and mechanism are not clear. In this paper, the ionospheric response to the Mw = 7.9 Alaska earthquake on 23 January 2018 is investigated from about 100 continuous GPS stations near the epicenter. The fourth-order zero-phase Butterworth band-pass filter with cutoffs of 2.2 mHz and 8 mHz is applied to obtain the ionospheric disturbances. Results show that the CIDs with an amplitude of up to 0.06 total electron content units (TECU) are detected about 10 min after the Alaska earthquake. The CIDs are as a result of the upward propagation acoustic waves triggered by the Rayleigh wave. The propagation velocities of TEC disturbances are around 2.6 km/s, which agree well with the wave propagation speed of 2.7 km/s detected by the bottom pressure records. Furthermore, the ionospheric disturbances following the 2018 Mw = 7.9 Alaska earthquake are inhomogeneous and directional which is rarely discussed. The magnitude of ionospheric disturbances in the western part of the epicenter is more obvious than in the eastern part. This phenomenon also corresponds to the data obtained from the seismographs and bottom pressure records (BPRs) at the eastern and western side of the epicenter. View Full-Text
Keywords: coseismic ionospheric disturbance; GPS; TEC; Rayleigh wave coseismic ionospheric disturbance; GPS; TEC; Rayleigh wave

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, Y.; Jin, S. Ionospheric Rayleigh Wave Disturbances Following the 2018 Alaska Earthquake from GPS Observations. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 901.

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