Articles | Volume 11, issue 8
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2341–2353, 2011

Special issue: Progress in research on earthquake precursors

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2341–2353, 2011

Research article 26 Aug 2011

Research article | 26 Aug 2011

Neural network based tomographic approach to detect earthquake-related ionospheric anomalies

S. Hirooka1, K. Hattori1, M. Nishihashi2, and T. Takeda3 S. Hirooka et al.
  • 1Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
  • 2Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 3Department of Computer Science, The University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract. A tomographic approach is used to investigate the fine structure of electron density in the ionosphere. In the present paper, the Residual Minimization Training Neural Network (RMTNN) method is selected as the ionospheric tomography with which to investigate the detailed structure that may be associated with earthquakes. The 2007 Southern Sumatra earthquake (M = 8.5) was selected because significant decreases in the Total Electron Content (TEC) have been confirmed by GPS and global ionosphere map (GIM) analyses. The results of the RMTNN approach are consistent with those of TEC approaches. With respect to the analyzed earthquake, we observed significant decreases at heights of 250–400 km, especially at 330 km. However, the height that yields the maximum electron density does not change. In the obtained structures, the regions of decrease are located on the southwest and southeast sides of the Integrated Electron Content (IEC) (altitudes in the range of 400–550 km) and on the southern side of the IEC (altitudes in the range of 250–400 km). The global tendency is that the decreased region expands to the east with increasing altitude and concentrates in the Southern hemisphere over the epicenter. These results indicate that the RMTNN method is applicable to the estimation of ionospheric electron density.