Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 90, Issue 8, pp 741–755 | Cite as

A new computerized ionosphere tomography model using the mapping function and an application to the study of seismic-ionosphere disturbance

  • Jian Kong
  • Yibin Yao
  • Lei Liu
  • Changzhi Zhai
  • Zemin Wang
Original Article


A new algorithm for ionosphere tomography using the mapping function is proposed in this paper. First, the new solution splits the integration process into four layers along the observation ray, and then, the single-layer model (SLM) is applied to each integration part using a mapping function. Next, the model parameters are estimated layer by layer with the Kalman filtering method by introducing the scale factor (SF) \(\gamma \) to solve the ill-posed problem. Finally, the inversed images of different layers are combined into the final CIT image. We utilized simulated data from 23 IGS GPS stations around Europe to verify the estimation accuracy of the new algorithm; the results show that the new CIT model has better accuracy than the SLM in dense data areas and the CIT residuals are more closely grouped. The stability of the new algorithm is discussed by analyzing model accuracy under different error levels (the max errors are 5TECU, 10TECU, 15TECU, respectively). In addition, the key preset parameter, SF\(\gamma \), which is given by the International Reference Ionosphere model (IRI2012). The experiment is designed to test the sensitivity of the new algorithm to SF variations. The results show that the IRI2012 is capable of providing initial SF values. Also in this paper, the seismic-ionosphere disturbance (SID) of the 2011 Japan earthquake is studied using the new CIT algorithm. Combined with the TEC time sequence of Sat.15, we find that the SID occurrence time and reaction area are highly related to the main shock time and epicenter. According to CIT images, there is a clear vertical electron density upward movement (from the 150-km layer to the 450-km layer) during this SID event; however, the peak value areas in the different layers were different, which means that the horizontal movement velocity is not consistent among the layers. The potential physical triggering mechanism is also discussed in this paper. Compared with the SLM, the RMS of the new CIT model is improved by 16.78%, while the CIT model could provide the three-dimensional variation in the ionosphere.


Mapping function Computerized ionosphere tomography  Kalman filtering Seismic-ionosphere disturbance TEC variation sequence Electric field effect 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian Kong
    • 1
  • Yibin Yao
    • 2
  • Lei Liu
    • 2
  • Changzhi Zhai
    • 2
  • Zemin Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Chinese Antarctic Center of Surveying and MappingWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of Geodesy and GeomaticsWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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