Advanced Search



ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Wen, Y. Z., Tao, D., Wang, G. X., Zong, J. Y., Cao, J. B., Battiston, R., ZeRen, Z. M., and Shen, X. H. (2022). Ionospheric TEC and plasma anomalies possibly associated with the 14 July 2019 Mw7.2 Indonesia Laiwui earthquake, from analysis of GPS and CSES data. Earth Planet. Phys., 6(4), 313–328.

2022, 6(4): 313-328. doi: 10.26464/epp2022028


Ionospheric TEC and plasma anomalies possibly associated with the 14 July 2019 Mw7.2 Indonesia Laiwui earthquake, from analysis of GPS and CSES data


Key Laboratory of Earth Exploration and Information Techniques of Ministry of Education, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China


School of Geophysics, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China


School of Space and Environment, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China


Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trento, Trento 38123, Italy


Trento Institute for Fundamental Physics and Applications (TIFPA), National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), Trento 34136, Italy


National Institute of Natural Hazards, Ministry of Emergency Management of China, Beijing 100085, China

Corresponding author: Dan Tao,

Received Date: 2022-01-11
Web Publishing Date: 2022-06-06

This study presents signatures of seismo-ionospheric perturbations possibly related to the 14 July 2019 $ {M}_{w} $7.2 Laiwui earthquake, detected by a cross-validation analysis of total electron content (TEC) data of the global ionospheric map (GIM) from GPS and plasma parameter data recorded by the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES). After separating pre-seismic ionospheric phenomena from the ionospheric disturbances due to the magnetospheric and solar activities, we have identified three positive temporal anomalies, around the epicenter, at 1 day, 3 days and 8 days before the earthquake (14 July 2019), along with a negative anomaly 6 days after the earthquake. These results agree well with the TEC spatial variations in latitude–longitude–time (LLT) maps. To confirm these anomalies further, we employed the moving mean method (MMM) to analyze ionospheric plasma parameters (electron, $ {\mathrm{O}}^{+} $and $ {\mathrm{H}\mathrm{e}}^{+} $densities) recorded by the Langmuir probe (LAP) and Plasma Analyzer Package (PAP) onboard the CSES. The analysis detected on, on Day Two, Day Four, and Day Seven before the earthquake, remarkable enhancements along the orbits around when in proximity to the epicenter. To make the investigations still more convincing, we compared the orbits on which anomalous readings were recorded to their corresponding four nearest revisiting orbits; the comparison did indeed indicate the existence of plasma parameter anomalies that appear to be associated with the Laiwui earthquake. All these results illustrate that the unusual ionospheric perturbations detected through GPS and CSES data are possibly associated with the $ {M}_{w}7.2 $ Laiwui earthquake, which suggests that at least some earthquakes may be predicted by alertness to pre-seismic ionospheric anomalies over regions known to be at seismic risk. This case study also contributes additional information of value to our understanding of lithosphere–atmosphere–ionosphere coupling.

Key words: seismo-ionospheric perturbations, CSES satellite, ionosphere, earthquake

Akhoondzadeh, M., Parrot, M., and Saradjian, M. R. (2010). Electron and ion density variations before strong earthquakes (M>6.0) using DEMETER and GPS data. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10(1), 7–18.

Akhoondzadeh, M., and Saradjian, M. R. (2011). TEC variations analysis concerning Haiti (January 12, 2010) and Samoa (September 29, 2009) earthquakes. Adv. Space Res., 47(1), 94–104.

Akhoondzadeh, M. (2012). Anomalous TEC variations associated with the powerful Tohoku earthquake of 11 March 2011. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12(5), 1453–1462.

Akhoondzadeh, M. (2013). A MLP neural network as an investigator of TEC time series to detect seismo-ionospheric anomalies. Adv. Space Res., 51(11), 2048–2057.

Akhoondzadeh, M., De Santis, A., Marchetti, D., Piscini, A., and Cianchini, G. (2018). Multi precursors analysis associated with the powerful Ecuador (MW=7.8) earthquake of 16 April 2016 using Swarm satellites data in conjunction with other multi-platform satellite and ground data. Adv. Space Res., 61(1), 248–263.

Akpan, A. E., Ibanga, J. I., George, N. J., and Ekanem, A. M. (2019). Assessing seismo-ionospheric disturbances using Vanuatu and Honshu earthquakes of March 25, 2007, employing DEMETER and GPS data. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol., 16(11), 7187–7196.

Bilitza, D. (1975). Models for the relationship between electron density and temperature in the upper ionosphere. J. Atmos. Terr. Phys., 37(9), 1219–1222.

Bilitza, D., and Hoegy, W. R. (1990). Solar activity variation of ionospheric plasma temperatures. Adv. Space Res., 10(8), 81–90.

Cai, C. S. (2007). Monitoring seasonal variations of ionospheric TEC using GPS measurements. Geo-Spat. Inf. Sci., 10(2), 96–99.

Chu, W., Huang, J. P., Shen, X. H., Wang, P., Li, X. Q., An, Z. H., Xu, Y. B., and Liang, X. H. (2018). Preliminary results of the High Energetic Particle Package on-board the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite. Earth Planet. Phys., 2(6), 489–498.

Dobrovolsky, I. P., Zubkov, S. I., and Miachkin, V. I. (1979). Estimation of the size of earthquake preparation zones. Pure Appl. Geophys., 117(5), 1025–1044.

Elemo, E. O., Ehigiator, M. O., and Ehigiator-Irughe, R. (2018). Seasonal variations of the vertical total electron content (VTEC) of the ionosphere at the GNSS COR station (SEERL) UNIBEN and three other CORS stations in Nigeria. Niger. J. Technol., 37(2), 286–293.

Hayakawa, M. (2006). Electromagnetic phenomena associated with earthquakes. IEEJ Transactions on Fundamentals and Materials, 126(4), 211–214.

Heki, K. (2011). Ionospheric electron enhancement preceding the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38(17), L17312.

Huang, J. P., Lei, J. G., Li, S. X., Zeren, Z. M., Li, C., Zhu, X. H., and Yu, W. H. (2018). The Electric Field Detector (EFD) onboard the ZH-1 satellite and first observational results. Earth Planet. Phys., 2(6), 469–478.

Kakinami, Y., Lin, C. H., Liu, J. Y., Kamogawa, M., Watanabe, S., and Parrot, M. (2011). Daytime longitudinal structures of electron density and temperature in the topside ionosphere observed by the Hinotori and DEMETER satellites. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 116(A5), A05316.

Kon, S., Nishihashi, M., and Hattori, K. (2011). Ionospheric anomalies possibly associated with M≥6.0 earthquakes in the Japan area during 1998–2010: case studies and statistical study. J. Asian Earth Sci., 41(4-5), 410–420.

Kuo, C. L., Huba, J. D., Joyce, G., and Lee, L. C. (2011). Ionosphere plasma bubbles and density variations induced by pre-earthquake rock currents and associated surface charges. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 116(A10), A10317.

Liu, J., Huang, J. P., and Zhang, X. M. (2014). Ionospheric perturbations in plasma parameters before global strong earthquakes. Adv. Space Res., 53(5), 776–787.

Liu, J., Zhang, X. M., Novikov, V., and Shen, X. H. (2016). Variations of ionospheric plasma at different altitudes before the 2005 Sumatra Indonesia Ms 7.2 earthquake. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 121(9), 9179–9187.

Liu, J. Y., Chen, Y. I., Pulinets, S. A., Tsai, Y. B., and Chuo, Y. J. (2000). Seismo-ionospheric signatures prior to M≥6.0 Taiwan earthquakes. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27(19), 3113–3116.

Liu, J. Y., Chen, Y. I., Chuo, Y. J., and Tsai, H. F. (2001). Variations of ionospheric total electron content during the Chi-Chi Earthquake. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28(7), 1383–1386.

Liu, J. Y., Chuo, Y. J., Shan, S. J., Tsai, Y. B., Chen, Y. I., Pulinets, S. A., and Yu, S. B. (2004). Pre-earthquake ionospheric anomalies registered by continuous GPS TEC measurements. Ann. Geophys., 22(5), 1585–1593.

Liu, J. Y., Chen, Y. I., Chen, C. H., Liu, C. Y., Chen, C. Y., Nishihashi, M., Li, J. Z., Xia, Y. Q., Oyama, K. I., … Lin, C. H. (2009). Seismoionospheric GPS total electron content anomalies observed before the 12 May 2008 Mw7.9 Wenchuan earthquake. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 114(A4), A04320.

Liu, J. Y., Chen, C. H., Lin, C. H., Tsai, H. F., Chen, C. H., and Kamogawa, M. (2011a). Ionospheric disturbances triggered by the 11 March 2011 M9.0 Tohoku earthquake. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 116(A6), A06319.

Liu, J. Y., Le, H., Chen, Y. I., Chen, C. H., Liu, L., Wan, W., Su, Y. Z., Sun, Y. Y., Lin, C. H., and Chen, M. Q. (2011b). Observations and simulations of seismoionospheric GPS total electron content anomalies before the 12 January 2010 M7 Haiti earthquake. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 116(A4), A04302.

Liu, L. B., and Chen, Y. D. (2009). Statistical analysis of solar activity variations of total electron content derived at Jet Propulsion Laboratory from GPS observations. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 114(A10), A10311.

Liu, L. B., and Wan, W. X. (2020). Recent ionospheric investigations in China (2018–2019). Earth Planet. Phys., 4(3), 179–205.

Liu, L. B., Zhao, B. Q., Wan, W. X., Ning, B. Q., Zhang, M. L., and He, M. S. (2009). Seasonal variations of the ionospheric electron densities retrieved from Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate mission radio occultation measurements. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 114(A2), A02302.

Olwendo, O. J., Baki, P., Mito, C., and Doherty, P. (2012). Characterization of ionospheric GPS Total Electron Content (GPS–TEC) in low latitude zone over the Kenyan region during a very low solar activity phase. J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys., 84-85, 52-61.222

Parrot, M., Berthelier, J. J., Lebreton, J. P., Sauvaud, J. A., Santolik, O., and Blecki, J. (2006). Examples of unusual ionospheric observations made by the DEMETER satellite over seismic regions. Phys. Chem. Earth, Parts A/B/C, 31(4-9), 486-495.222

Pulinets, S., Legen'ka, A. D., Gaivoronskaya, T. V., and Depuev, V. Kh. (2003). Main phenomenological features of ionospheric precursors of strong earthquakes. J. Atmos. Sol-Terr. Phy., 65(16-18), 1337–1347.

Pulinets, S. (2004). Ionospheric precursors of earthquakes; recent advances in theory and practical applications. TAO, 15(3), 413–435.

Pulinets, S.A., Ouzounov, D.P., Karelin, A.V., and Davidenk, D. V. (2015). Physical bases of the generation of short-term earthquake pre-cursors: A complex model of ionization-induced geophysical processes in the lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system. Geomagn Aeronomy, 55(4), 521–538.

Pulinets, S., and Boyarchuk, K. (2004). Ionospheric precursors of earthquakes. Springer Science & Business Media.

Pulinets, S., and Davidenko, D. (2014). Ionospheric precursors of earthquakes and Global Electric Circuit. Adv. Space Res., 53(5), 709–723.

Richards, P. G. (2001). Seasonal and solar cycle variations of the ionospheric peak electron density: comparison of measurement and models. J. Geophys. Res.:Space Phys., 106(A7), 12803–12819.

Shen, X. H., Zhang, X. M., Yuan, S. G., Wang, L. W., Cao, J. B., Huang, J. P., Zhu, X. H., Piergiorgio, P., and Dai, J. P. (2018). The state-of-the-art of the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite mission. Sci. China Technol. Sci., 61(5), 634–642.

Song, R., Hattori, K., Zhang, X. M., and Sanaka, S. (2020). Seismic-ionospheric effects prior to four earthquakes in Indonesia detected by the China seismo-electromagnetic satellite. J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys., 205, 105291.

Tao, D., Cao, J. B., Battiston, R., Li, L. Y., Ma, Y. D., Liu, W. L., Zhima, Z. R., Wang, L. W., and Dunlop, M. W. (2017). Seismo-ionospheric anomalies in ionospheric TEC and plasma density before the 17 July 2006 M7.7 south of Java earthquake. Ann. Geophys., 35(3), 589–598.

Wang, Q., Huang, J. P., Zhang, X. M., Shen, X. M., Yuan, S. G., Zeng, L., and Cao, J. B. (2018). China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite search coil magnetometer data and initial results. Earth Planet. Phys., 2(6), 462–468.

Yan, R., Shen, X. H., Huang, J. P., Wang, Q., Chu, W., Liu, D. P., Yang, Y. Y., Lu, H. X., and Xu, S. (2018). Examples of unusual ionospheric observations by the CSES prior to earthquakes. Earth Planet. Phys., 2(6), 515–526.

Zeren, Z. M., Shen, X. H., Zhang, X. M., Cao, J. B., Huang, J. P., Ouyang, X. Y., Liu, J., and Lu, B. Q. (2012). Possible ionospheric electromagnetic perturbations induced by the Ms7.1 Yushu earthquake. Earth, Moon, Planets, 108(3-4), 231-241.222

Zhang, X. M. (2013). Burst increases of precipitating electrons recorded by the DEMETER satellite before strong earthquakes. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 13(1), 197–209.

Zhang, X. M., Chen, H. R., Liu, J., Shen, X. H., Miao, Y. Q., Du, X. B., and Qian, J. D. (2012). Ground-based and satellite DC-ULF electric field anomalies around Wenchuan M8.0 earthquake. Adv. Space Res., 50(1), 85–95.

Zhang, X. M., Qian, J. D., Ouyang, X. Y., Shen, X. H., Cai, J. A., and Zhao, S. F. (2009). Ionospheric electromagnetic perturbations observed on DEMETER satellite before Chile M7.9 earthquake. Earthq. Sci., 22(3), 251–255.

Zhang, X. M., Wang, Y. L., Boudjada, M. Y., Liu, J., Magnes, W., Zhou, Y. L., and Du, X. H. (2020). Multi-Experiment Observations of ionospheric disturbances as precursory effects of the indonesian Ms6.9 earthquake on August 05, 2018. Remote Sens., 12(24), 4050.


XuHui Shen, Qiu-Gang Zong, XueMin Zhang, 2018: Introduction to special section on the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite and initial results, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 439-443. doi: 10.26464/epp2018041


Rui Yan, XuHui Shen, JianPing Huang, Qiao Wang, Wei Chu, DaPeng Liu, YanYan Yang, HengXin Lu, Song Xu, 2018: Examples of unusual ionospheric observations by the CSES prior to earthquakes, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 515-526. doi: 10.26464/epp2018050


Qiao Wang, JianPing Huang, XueMin Zhang, XuHui Shen, ShiGeng Yuan, Li Zeng, JinBin Cao, 2018: China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite search coil magnetometer data and initial results, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 462-468. doi: 10.26464/epp2018044


XueMin Zhang, Vladimir Frolov, ShuFan Zhao, Chen Zhou, YaLu Wang, Alexander Ryabov, DuLin Zhai, 2018: The first joint experimental results between SURA and CSES, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 527-537. doi: 10.26464/epp2018051


YaLu Wang, XueMin Zhang, XuHui Shen, 2018: A study on the energetic electron precipitation observed by CSES, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 538-547. doi: 10.26464/epp2018052


Hao Gu, Jun Cui, ZhaoGuo He, JiaHao Zhong, 2020: A MAVEN investigation of O++ in the dayside Martian ionosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 11-16. doi: 10.26464/epp2020009


JunYi Wang, XinAn Yue, Yong Wei, WeiXing Wan, 2018: Optimization of the Mars ionospheric radio occultation retrieval, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 292-302. doi: 10.26464/epp2018027


LiBo Liu, WeiXing Wan, 2020: Recent ionospheric investigations in China (2018–2019), Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 179-205. doi: 10.26464/epp2020028


Cristiano Max Wrasse, Cosme Alexandre Oliveira Barros Figueiredo, Diego Barros, Hisao Takahashi, Alexander José Carrasco, Luiz Fillip Rodrigues Vital, Láysa Cristina Araujo Resende, Fábio Egito, Geângelo de Matos Rosa, Antonio Hélder Rodrigues Sampaio, 2021: Interaction between Equatorial Plasma Bubbles and a Medium-Scale Traveling Ionospheric Disturbance, observed by OI 630 nm airglow imaging at Bom Jesus de Lapa, Brazil, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 397-406. doi: 10.26464/epp2021045


XiaoShu Wu, Jun Cui, YuTian Cao, WeiQin Sun, Qiong Luo, BinBin Ni, 2020: Response of photoelectron peaks in the Martian ionosphere to solar EUV/X-ray irradiance, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 390-395. doi: 10.26464/epp2020035


H. Takahashi, P. Essien, C. A. O. B. Figueiredo, C. M. Wrasse, D. Barros, M. A. Abdu, Y. Otsuka, K. Shiokawa, GuoZhu Li, 2021: Multi-instrument study of longitudinal wave structures for plasma bubble seeding in the equatorial ionosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 368-377. doi: 10.26464/epp2021047


XinAn Yue, WeiXing Wan, Han Xiao, LingQi Zeng, ChangHai Ke, BaiQi Ning, Feng Ding, BiQiang Zhao, Lin Jin, Chen Li, MingYuan Li, JunYi Wang, HongLian Hao, Ning Zhang, 2020: Preliminary experimental results by the prototype of Sanya Incoherent Scatter Radar, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 579-587. doi: 10.26464/epp2020063


GuoZhu Li, BaiQi Ning, Ao Li, SiPeng Yang, XiuKuan Zhao, BiQiang Zhao, WeiXing Wan, 2018: First results of optical meteor and meteor trail irregularity from simultaneous Sanya radar and video observations, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 15-21. doi: 10.26464/epp2018002


Jun Cui, ZhaoJin Rong, Yong Wei, YuMing Wang, 2020: Recent investigations of the near-Mars space environment by the planetary aeronomy and space physics community in China, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 1-3. doi: 10.26464/epp2020001


QianQian Han, Markus Fraenz, Yong Wei, Eduard Dubinin, Jun Cui, LiHui Chai, ZhaoJin Rong, WeiXing Wan, Yoshifumi Futaana, 2020: EUV-dependence of Venusian dayside ionopause altitude: VEX and PVO observations, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 73-81. doi: 10.26464/epp2020011


Yuichi Otsuka, Atsuki Shinbori, Takuya Sori, Takuya Tsugawa, Michi Nishioka, Joseph D. Huba, 2021: Plasma depletions lasting into daytime during the recovery phase of a geomagnetic storm in May 2017: Analysis and simulation of GPS total electron content observations, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 427-434. doi: 10.26464/epp2021046


YuTian Cao, Jun Cui, BinBin Ni, XiaoShu Wu, Qiong Luo, ZhaoGuo He, 2020: Bidirectional electron conic observations for photoelectrons in the Martian ionosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 403-407. doi: 10.26464/epp2020037


Bin Zhou, YanYan Yang, YiTeng Zhang, XiaoChen Gou, BingJun Cheng, JinDong Wang, Lei Li, 2018: Magnetic field data processing methods of the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 455-461. doi: 10.26464/epp2018043


JianPing Huang, XuHui Shen, XueMin Zhang, HengXin Lu, Qiao Tan, Qiao Wang, Rui Yan, Wei Chu, YanYan Yang, DaPeng Liu, Song Xu, 2018: Application system and data description of the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 444-454. doi: 10.26464/epp2018042


MeiJuan Yao, Jun Cui, XiaoShu Wu, YingYing Huang, WenRui Wang, 2019: Variability of the Martian ionosphere from the MAVEN Radio Occultation Science Experiment, Earth and Planetary Physics, 3, 283-289. doi: 10.26464/epp2019029

Article Metrics
  • PDF Downloads()
  • Abstract views()
  • HTML views()
  • Cited by(0)

Figures And Tables

Ionospheric TEC and plasma anomalies possibly associated with the 14 July 2019 Mw7.2 Indonesia Laiwui earthquake, from analysis of GPS and CSES data

YuanZheng Wen, Dan Tao, GuangXue Wang, JiaYi Zong, JinBin Cao, Roberto Battiston, ZhiMa ZeRen, XuHui Shen