Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 175, Issue 10, pp 3441–3450 | Cite as

Statistical Analysis of TEC Anomalies Prior to M6.0+ Earthquakes During 2003–2014

  • Fuying ZhuEmail author
  • Fanfan Su
  • Jian Lin


There are many studies on the anomalous variations of the ionospheric TEC prior to large earthquakes. However, whether or not the morphological characteristics of the TEC anomalies in the daytime and at night are different is rarely studied. In the present paper, based on the total electron content (TEC) data from the global ionosphere map (GIM), we carry out a statistical survey on the spatial–temporal distribution of TEC anomalies before 1339 global M6.0+ earthquakes during 2003–2014. After excluding the interference of geomagnetic disturbance, the temporal and spatial distributions of ionospheric TEC anomalies prior to the earthquakes in the daytime and at night are investigated and compared. Except that the nighttime occurrence rates of the pre-earthquake ionospheric anomalies (PEIAs) are higher than those in the daytime, our analysis has not found any statistically significant difference in the spatial–temporal distribution of PEIAs in the daytime and at night. Moreover, the occurrence rates of pre-earthquake ionospheric TEC both positive anomalies and negative anomalies at night tend to increase slightly with the earthquake magnitude. Thus, we suggest that monitoring the ionospheric TEC changes at night might be a clue to reveal the relation between ionospheric disturbances and seismic activities.


Temporal and spatial distribution total electron content anomaly earthquake 



The authors are thankful to the CODE, USGS, NOAA for providing related data used in this study. This work has been partially supported by Scientific Research Fund of Institute of Seismology, China Earthquake Administration (Grant no. IS201616256) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China Project (Grant no. 41304047).


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Earthquake GeodesyInstitute of Seismology, China Earthquake AdministrationWuhanChina
  2. 2.Wuhan Base of Institute of Crustal Dynamics, China Earthquake AdministrationWuhanChina

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