Seismo-ionospheric anomalies in DEMETER observationsduring the Wenchuan M7.9 earthquake

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Ching-Chi Huang and Jann-Yenq G Liu, NCU National Central University of Taiwan, Jhongli, Taiwan
This paper examines pre-earthquake ionospheric anomalies (PEIAs) observed by the French satellite DEMETER (Detection of Electro-Magnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions) during the 12 May 2008 M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake. Both daytime and nighttime electron density (Ne), electron temperature (Te), ion density (Ni) and ion temperature (Ti) are investigated. A statistical analysis of the box-and-whisker method is utilized to see if the four DEMETER datasets 1-6 days before and after the earthquake are significantly different. The analysis is employed to investigate the epicenter and three reference areas along the same magnetic latitude and to discriminate the earthquake-related anomalies from global effects. Results show that the nighttime Ne and Ni over the epicenter significantly decrease 1–6 days before the earthquake. The ionospheric total electron content (TEC) of global ionosphere map (GIM) over the epicenter is further inspected to find the sensitive local time for detecting the PEIAs of the M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake.