Reduction of electron temperature in low-latitude ionosphere at 600 km before and after large earthquakes

Koh Ichiro Oyama, Yoshihiro Kakinami, Jann Yenq Liu, Masashi Kamogawa, Tetsuya Kodama

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We examine ionospheric electron temperatures (Te) observed by HINOTORI satellite during three earthquakes; M6.6 occurred in November 1981, M7.4 and M6.6 in January 1982 over Philippine, respectively. It is found that Te around the epicenters significantly decreases in the afternoon periods within 5 days before and after the three earthquakes. The region of ionosphere disturbance extends to 80-120 degrees in longitude. A tendency exists that duration of the disturbance becomes longer as the increase of earthquake magnitude. F2 peak frequency, f0F2 and virtual height, h'F from a chain of 4 ionosonde stations located in the longitude zone of 120°E-130°E are used together with electron density(Ne), that is observed simultaneously onboard HINOTORI satellite to find possible cause mechanisms of the abnormal reduction of electron temperatures. Behavior of HINOTORI Te/Ne and ionosonde f0F 2/h'F implies the existence of westward electric field over epicentre. Our finding suggests that simple two plasma instruments might be able to play a fundamental role to study ionosphere disturbance associated with earthquake, if the constellation of small/mini satellites is organized and the orbits are properly chosen.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA11317
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2008


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