Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 2433–2441 | Cite as

Irregularities of the ionospheric plasma and the ULF electric components obtained from DEMETER satellite experiments above Chile earthquake (27 February 2010)

  • Soraya Louerguioui
  • Said Gaci
  • Naima Zaourar
Original Paper


The detection of ionospheric disturbances associated with seismic activity is one of the main purposes of the Detection of Electromagnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions (DEMETER) micro-satellite. In this view, this study attempts to analyze the problem of detecting these disturbances before an earthquake occurrence and to discuss the Chile earthquake case study. Using ultralow frequency (ULF) measurements of Instrument Champ Electrique (ICE) experiments on board the DEMETER satellite, possible irregularities in this electric component have been investigated in the vicinity of Chile (27 February 2010) earthquake region. The data used in this paper cover the period from 10 to 26 February 2010. The anomalous variations in the calculated ULF electric component in the direction Z of satellite were clearly observed on the 17th, 11th, and 1st days preceding the earthquake. It is noted that the electric component obviously strongly decreased prior to the earthquake. These unusual variations have also been observed in the variation of several plasma parameters recorded by DEMETER directly above the epicenter during the whole period. Hence, the detected anomalies resulting from the ICE ULF waveforms in quiet geomagnetic conditions could be regarded as seismo-ionospheric precursors.


DEMETER Preseismic Electric field ULF Ionosphere 


  1. Akhoondzadeh M (2013) Novelty detection in time series of ULF magnetic and electric components obtained from DEMETER satellite experiments above Samoa (29 September 2009) earthquake region. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 13(15–25):2013Google Scholar
  2. Berthelier JJ, Godefroy M, Leblanc F, Malingre M, Menvielle M, Lagoutte D, Brochot JY, Colin F, Elie F, Legendre C, Zamora P, Benoist D, Chapuis Y, Artru J (2006) ICE, the electric field experiment on DEMETER. Planet Space Sci 54(5):456–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biagi P (1999) Seismic effects on LF radio-waves. In: Hayakawa A (ed) Atmospheric and ionospheric electromagnetic phenomena associated with earthquakes. Terra Scientific Publishing Company, Tokyo, pp 535–542Google Scholar
  4. Chmyrev VM, Isaev NV, Bilichenko SV, Stanev G (1989) Observation by space-borne detectors of electric fields and hydromagnetic waves in the ionosphere over an earthquake centre. Phys Earth Planet Int 57:110–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dobrovosky IR, Zubkov SI, Myachkin VI (1979) Estimation of the size of earthquake preparation zones. PAGEOPH 117:1025–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fahleson U (1967) Theory of electric field measurements conducted in the magnetosphere with electric probes .Space Science Reviews 7. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland, pp 238–262Google Scholar
  7. Fraser-Smith AC, Bernardi A, McGill PR, Ladd ME, Helliwell RA, Villard OG Jr (1990) Low-frequency magnetic field measurements near the epicentre of the Ms 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake. Geophys Res Lett 17:1465–1468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hayakawa M (1997) Electromagnetic precursors of earthquakes: review of recent activities. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 807–818, Review Radio Science, 1993–1995Google Scholar
  9. Hayakawa M, Itoh T, Hattori K, Yumoto K (2000) ULF electromagnetic precursors for an earthquake at Biak, Indonesia, on February 17, 1996. Geophys Res Lett 27(10):1531–1534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ho YY, Jhuang HK, Su YC, Liu JY (2013) Seismo-ionospheric anomalies in total electron content of the GIM and electron density of DEMETER before the 27 February 2010 M8.8 Chile earthquake. Adv Space Res 51:2309–2315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lagoutte D, Brochot JY, de Carvalho D, Madrias L, Parrot M (2006) DEMETER microsatellite scientific mission center data product description, Reference: DMT-SP-9-CM-6054-LPC, Edition. Revision 3:3Google Scholar
  12. Molchanov OA, Kopytenko YA, Voronov PM, Kopytenko EA, Matiashvili TG, Fraser-Smith AC, Bernardi A (1992) Results of ULF magnetic field measurements near the epicentres of the Spitak (Ms 6.9) and Loma Prieta (Ms 7.1) earthquakes: comparative analysis. Geophys Res Lett 19:1495–1498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Molchanov OA, Mazhaeva OA, Golyavin AN, Hayakawa M (1993) Observation by the Intercosmos-24 satellite of ELF-VLF electromagnetic emissions associated with earthquakes. Ann Geophys 11:431–440Google Scholar
  14. Parrot M., Benoist D., Berthelier J.J., Blecki J., Chapuis Y., Colin F., Elie F., Fergeau P., Lagoutte D., Lefeuvre F., Legendre C., Leveque M., Pinçon J.L., Poirier B., Seran H.-C., Zamora P (2006) The magnetic field experiment IMSC and its data processing on board DEMETER: scientific objectives, description and first results .Planetary and Space Science, Volume 54, Issue 5, p. 441–455, 2006Google Scholar
  15. Píša D, Parrot M, Santolík O (2011) Ionospheric density variations recorded before the 2010 Mw 8.8 earthquake in Chile. J Geophys Res 116:A08309. doi: 10.1029/2011JA016611 Google Scholar
  16. Singh R, Singh B, Bansal V, Hayakawa M (2000) VLF electromagnetic noise bursts related to major seismic activities observed at Agra. J Atmos E 20(1):7–20Google Scholar
  17. Sorokin VM, Chmyrev VM, Yaschenko AK (2006) Possible DC electric field in the ionosphere related to seismicity. Adv Space Res 37:666–670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Takano T, Yamada A, Sakai K, Higasa H, Shimakura S (2002) Enhancements of electromagnetic broadband noise in 50 MHz band which possibly associate with earthquakes. J Atmos Electr 22(1):23–34Google Scholar
  19. Yamada A, Sakai K, Yaji Y, Takano T, Shimakura S (2002) Observations of natural noise in VHF band which relates to earthquakes. In: Hayakawa M, Molchanov OA (eds) Seismo electromagnetics (lithosphere–atmosphere–ionosphere coupling). Terra Scientific Publishing Company, Tokyo, pp 255–257Google Scholar
  20. Zhang X, Zeren Z, Parrot M, Battiston R, Qian J, Shen X (2011) ULF/ELF ionospheric electric field and plasma perturbations related to Chile earthquakes. Adv Space Res 47(6):991–1000. doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2010.11.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geophysics Department-FSTGATUniversity of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB)AlgiersAlgeria
  2. 2.Sonatrach, Division ExplorationBoumerdèsAlgeria

Personalised recommendations