Articles | Volume 31, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 31, 173–186, 2013
Ann. Geophys., 31, 173–186, 2013

Regular paper 06 Feb 2013

Regular paper | 06 Feb 2013

Support vector machines for TEC seismo-ionospheric anomalies detection

M. Akhoondzadeh M. Akhoondzadeh
  • Remote Sensing Division, Surveying and Geomatics Engineering Department, University College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Abstract. Using time series prediction methods, it is possible to pursue the behaviors of earthquake precursors in the future and to announce early warnings when the differences between the predicted value and the observed value exceed the predefined threshold value. Support Vector Machines (SVMs) are widely used due to their many advantages for classification and regression tasks. This study is concerned with investigating the Total Electron Content (TEC) time series by using a SVM to detect seismo-ionospheric anomalous variations induced by the three powerful earthquakes of Tohoku (11 March 2011), Haiti (12 January 2010) and Samoa (29 September 2009). The duration of TEC time series dataset is 49, 46 and 71 days, for Tohoku, Haiti and Samoa earthquakes, respectively, with each at time resolution of 2 h. In the case of Tohoku earthquake, the results show that the difference between the predicted value obtained from the SVM method and the observed value reaches the maximum value (i.e., 129.31 TECU) at earthquake time in a period of high geomagnetic activities. The SVM method detected a considerable number of anomalous occurrences 1 and 2 days prior to the Haiti earthquake and also 1 and 5 days before the Samoa earthquake in a period of low geomagnetic activities. In order to show that the method is acting sensibly with regard to the results extracted during nonevent and event TEC data, i.e., to perform some null-hypothesis tests in which the methods would also be calibrated, the same period of data from the previous year of the Samoa earthquake date has been taken into the account. Further to this, in this study, the detected TEC anomalies using the SVM method were compared to the previous results (Akhoondzadeh and Saradjian, 2011; Akhoondzadeh, 2012) obtained from the mean, median, wavelet and Kalman filter methods. The SVM detected anomalies are similar to those detected using the previous methods. It can be concluded that SVM can be a suitable learning method to detect the novelty changes of a nonlinear time series such as variations of earthquake precursors.