Ionospheric F2 region perturbed by the 25 April 2015 Nepal earthquake

Yang Yi Sun, Jann Yenq Liu, Chi Yen Lin, Ho Fang Tsai, Loren C. Chang, Chao Yen Chen, Chia Hung Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Seismic waves can be detected in the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere; however, their impacts on ionospheric electron density (Ne) structures near the altitude of peak Ne (hmF2) have not yet been fully determined due to the lack of sufficient observations sampled in the vertical direction. Here we apply a ground-based Global Positioning System (GPS) receiving network in Asia as well as the space-based GPS occultation experiment on board the FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC (F3/C) satellite to vertically scan the ionospheric Ne structures, which were perturbed by the magnitude Mw7.8 Nepal earthquake that occurred on 25 April 2015. The F3/C altitudinal Ne profiles show that the Nepal earthquake-induced air perturbations penetrate into the ionosphere at supersonic speeds of approximately 800 m/s and change the Ne structure by 10% near hmF2. The vertical scale of the Ne perturbation is 150 km, while the hmF2 is uplifted by more than 30 km within 1 min. Those results reveal that the earthquake-induced ground displacement should be considered as a significant force that perturbs the vertical Ne structure of the ionosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5778-5784
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Nepal earthquake
  • near-supersonic uplifting of hF
  • vertical seismic ionospheric disturbance


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