Large air pressure changes triggered by P-SV ground motion in a cave in northern Taiwan

Chieh Hung Chen, Yang Yi Sun, Li Ching Lin, Peng Han, Huai Zhong Yu, Xue Min Zhang, Chi Chia Tang, Chun Rong Chen, Horng Yuan Yen, Cheng Horng Lin, Jann Yenq Liu, Ching Ren Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Acoustic-gravity waves are generally considered to be one of the major factors that drive changes of the total electron content in the ionosphere. However, causal mechanisms of couplings between sources in the lithosphere and responses in the atmosphere and the ionosphere are not fully understood, yet. A barometer in the cave of the SBCB station records an unusual phenomenon of larger amplitudes in air pressure changes inside than those at the Xinwu station (outside). Accordingly, the comparison between the recorded data at the SBCB and Xinwu station can drive investigations of potential sources of the unusual phenomenon. Analytical results of phase angle differences reveal that the air pressure outside the cave at the Xinwu station often leads air pressure changes inside at the SBCB station at relatively low frequency bands. In contrast, the larger pressure changes at frequencies > ~ 5 × 10–4 Hz inside the cave at the SBCB station lead smaller changes outside at the Xinwu station. To expose causal mechanisms of the unusual phenomenon, continuous seismic waveforms are further conducted for examination. When the horizontal and vertical ground velocities of ground vibrations yield a difference in the phase angle close to 90°, coherence values between the air pressure changes and ground vibrations become large. This suggests that the pressure-shear vertical ground vibrations can drive air pressure changes. Meanwhile, the results shed light on investigating the existence of acoustic waves near the Earth’s surface using a partially confined space underground due to that the assumptions of the waves can propagate upward into the atmosphere driving changes in the ionosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12850
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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