Analysis of Ionospheric Disturbances Caused by the 2018 Bering Sea Meteor Explosion Based on GPS ObservationsOPEN ACCESS 

Yiyong Luo, Yibin Yao and Lulu Shan

Sensors 2020, 20(11), 3201
Published: 4 June 2020

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“The Bering Sea meteor explosion that occurred on 18 December 2018 provides a good opportunity to study the ionospheric disturbances caused by meteor explosions. Total electron content (TEC) is the core parameter of ionospheric analysis. TEC and its changes can be accurately estimated based on the Global Positioning System (GPS). TID is detected in time and frequency domain based on power spectrum and Butterworth filtering method. By analyzing the waveform, period, wavelength, propagation speed and space-time distribution of TID, the location of the TID source is determined, and the process of TID formation and propagation is understood. The TID caused by meteor explosions has significant anisotropy characteristic. Two types of TID were found. For the first type, the average horizontal propagation velocity is 250.22 ± 5.98 m/s, the wavelength is ~135–240 km, the average period is about 12 min, and the propagation distance is less than 1400 km. About 8 min after the meteor explosion, the first type of TID source formed and propagated radially at the velocity of 250.22 ± 5.98 m/s. For the second type, the propagation velocity is ~434.02 m/s. According to the waveform, period, wavelength and propagation velocity of the TID, it is diagnosed to be the midscale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MSTID). Based on the characteristics of TID, we infer that the TID is excited by the gravity waves generated by the meteor explosion, which is in accordance with the propagation law of gravity waves in the ionosphere. And it is estimated that the average velocity of the up-going gravity waves is about 464.58 m/s. A simple model was established to explain the formation and the propagation of this TID, and to verify the characteristics of the TID propagation caused by nuclear explosion, earthquake, tsunami, and Chelyabinsk meteorite blast. It is estimated that the position of the TID source is consistent with the meteor explosion point, which further indicates that the TID is caused by the meteor explosion and propagates radially.”