Articles | Volume 12, issue 5
Research article
15 May 2012
Research article |  | 15 May 2012

Anomalous TEC variations associated with the powerful Tohoku earthquake of 11 March 2011

M. Akhoondzadeh

Abstract. On 11 March 2011 at 14:46:23 LT, the 4th largest earthquake ever recorded with a magnitude of 9.0 occurred near the northeast coast of Honshu in Japan (38.322° N, 142.369° E, Focal depth 29.0 km). In order to acknowledge the capabilities of Total Electron Content (TEC) ionospheric precursor, in this study four methods including mean, median, wavelet transform, and Kalman filter have been applied to detect anomalous TEC variations concerning the Tohoku earthquake. The duration of the TEC time series dataset is 49 days at a time resolution of 2 h. All four methods detected a considerable number of anomalous occurrences during 1 to 10 days prior to the earthquake in a period of high geomagnetic activities. In this study, geomagnetic indices (i.e. Dst, Kp, Ap and F10.7) were used to distinguish pre-earthquake anomalies from the other anomalies related to the geomagnetic and solar activities. A good agreement in results was found between the different applied anomaly detection methods on TEC data.