Earthquake Science

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 639–650

The earthquake-related disturbances in ionosphere and project of the first China seismo-electromagnetic satellite


    • Institute of Earthquake ScienceChina Earthquake Administration
  • Xuemin Zhang
    • Institute of Earthquake ScienceChina Earthquake Administration
  • Lanwei Wang
    • Institute of Crustal DynamicsChina Earthquake Administration
  • Huaran Chen
    • Institute of GeophysicsChina Earthquake Administration
  • Yun Wu
    • Earthquake Administration of Hubei Province
  • Shigeng Yuan
    • DFH Satellite Co. Ltd.
  • Junfeng Shen
    • State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral ResourcesChinese University of Geosciences
  • Shufan Zhao
    • Institute of Earthquake ScienceChina Earthquake Administration
  • Jiadong Qian
    • Institute of Earthquake ScienceChina Earthquake Administration
  • Jianhai Ding
    • Institute of Earthquake ScienceChina Earthquake Administration

DOI: 10.1007/s11589-011-0824-0

Cite this article as:
Shen, X., Zhang, X., Wang, L. et al. Earthq Sci (2011) 24: 639. doi:10.1007/s11589-011-0824-0


Based on the case studies and statistical analysis of earthquake-related ionospheric disturbances mainly from DEMETER satellite, ground-based GPS and ionosounding data, this paper summarizes the statistical characteristics of earthquake-related ionospheric disturbances, including electromagnetic emissions, plasma perturbations and variation of energetic particle flux. According to the main results done by Chinese scientists, fusing with the existed study from global researches, seismo-ionospheric disturbances usually occurred a few days or hours before earthquake occurrence. Paralleling to these case studies, lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere (LAI) coupling mechanisms are checked and optimized. A thermo-electric model was proposed to explain the seismo-electromagnetic effects before earthquakes. A propagation model was put forward to explain the electromagnetic waves into the ionosphere. According to the requirement of earthquake prediction research, China seismo-electromagnetic satellite, the first space-based platform of Chinese earthquake stereoscopic observation system, is proposed and planned to launch at about the end of 2014. It focuses on checking the LAI model and distinguishing earthquake-related ionospheric disturbance. The preliminary design for the satellite will adopt CAST-2000 platform with eight payloads onboard. It is believed that the satellite will work together with the ground monitoring network to improve the capability to capture seismo-electromagnetic information, which is beneficial for earthquake monitoring and prediction researches.

Key words

seismo-ionospheric couplingearthquake-related ionospheric disturbanceChina seismoelectromagnetic satellitelithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere coupling model

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© The Seismological Society of China and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011