Analysis of ionospheric vertical total electron content before the 1 April 2014 Mw 8.2 Chile earthquake

  • Weiping Jiang
  • Yifang Ma
  • Xiaohui Zhou
  • Zhao Li
  • Xiangdong An
  • Kaihua Wang


This paper studies ionospheric vertical total electron content (VTEC) variations before the 1 April 2014 Mw 8.2 Chile earthquake. VTEC derived from 14 global positioning system (GPS) stations and global ionospheric map (GIM) were used to analyze ionospheric variations before the earthquake using the sliding interquartile range method, and the results showed that significant positive VTEC anomalies occurred on 28 March. To explore possible causes of these anomalies, effects of solar and geomagnetic activities were examined, and VTEC variations during 17 March to 31 March in 2009–2013 were cross-compared. Also, VTEC for a full year before the earthquake was investigated. The results indicated that the anomalies were weakly associated with high solar activities and geomagnetic storms and that the anomalies were not normal seasonal and diurnal variations. An analysis of the spatial distribution of the observed anomalies was also presented, and it demonstrated that the anomalies specifically appeared around the epicenter on 28 March. We suggest that the observed anomalies may be associated with the subsequent Chile earthquake. Equatorial anomaly variations were analyzed to discuss the possible physical mechanism, and results showed that the equatorial anomaly unusually increased on 28 March, which indicates that anomalous electric fields generated in the earthquake preparation area and the meridional wind are possible causes of the observed ionospheric anomalies.


Global positioning system (GPS) Ionosphere Vertical total electron content (VTEC) Seismo-ionospheric anomaly 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weiping Jiang
    • 1
  • Yifang Ma
    • 1
  • Xiaohui Zhou
    • 2
  • Zhao Li
    • 3
  • Xiangdong An
    • 1
  • Kaihua Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.GNSS Research CenterWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of Geodesy and GeomaticsWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Faculté des Sciences, de la Technologieet de la CommunicationUniversity of LuxembourgLuxembourg CityLuxembourg

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