Observed TEC Anomalies by GNSS Sites Preceding the Aegean Sea Earthquake of 2014

Mustafa Ulukavak, Mualla Yalçınkaya

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In recent years, Total Electron Content (TEC) data, obtained from Global Navigation Satellites Systems (GNSS) receivers, has been widely used to detect seismo-ionospheric anomalies. In this study, Global Positioning System – Total Electron Content (GPS-TEC) data were used to investigate ionospheric abnormal behaviors prior to the 2014 Aegean Sea earthquake (40.305°N 25.453°E, 24 May 2014, 09:25:03 UT, Mw:6.9). The data obtained from three Continuously Operating Reference Stations in Turkey (CORS-TR) and two International GNSS Service (IGS) sites near the epicenter of the earthquake is used to detect ionospheric anomalies before the earthquake. Solar activity index (F10.7) and geomagnetic activity index (Dst), which are both related to space weather conditions, were used to analyze these pre-earthquake ionospheric anomalies. An examination of these indices indicated high solar activity between May 8 and 15, 2014. The first significant increase (positive anomalies) in Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC) was detected on May 14, 2014 or 10 days before the earthquake. This positive anomaly can be attributed to the high solar activity. The indices do not imply high solar or geomagnetic activity after May 15, 2014. Abnormal ionospheric TEC changes (negative anomaly) were observed at all stations one day before the earthquake. These changes were lower than the lower bound by approximately 10-20 TEC unit (TECU), and may be considered as the ionospheric precursor of the 2014 Aegean Sea earthquake.


Ionosphere; Total Electron Content; VTEC; Earthquake; Aegean Sea; GNSS


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