Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2023-36
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2023-36
21 Nov 2023
 | 21 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Observations of Ionospheric Disturbances Associated with the 4 August 2020 Port Beirut Explosion by DMSP and Ionosondes

Rezy Pradipta and Pei-Chen Lai

Abstract. A major explosion happened in Beirut on 4 August 2020, releasing a significant amount of energy into the atmosphere. The energy released may have reached the upper atmosphere and generated some traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs), which may affect radio wave propagation. In this study, we used data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) and ground-based ionosondes in the Mediterranean region to investigate the ionospheric response to this historic explosion event. Our DMSP data analysis revealed a noticeable increase in the ionospheric electron density near Beirut area following the explosion, accompanied by some wavelike disturbances. Some characteristic TID signatures were also identified in the shape of ionogram traces at several locations in the Mediterranean. This event occurred during a period of relatively quiet geomagnetic conditions, making the observed TIDs likely to originate from the Beirut explosion, and not from other sources such as auroral activities. These observational findings demonstrate that TIDs from the Beirut explosion were able to propagate over longer distance beyond the immediate areas of Lebanon and Israel/Palestine, reaching the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe.

Rezy Pradipta and Pei-Chen Lai

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2023-36', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Dec 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Rezy Pradipta, 14 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on angeo-2023-36', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Jan 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Rezy Pradipta, 14 Feb 2024
Rezy Pradipta and Pei-Chen Lai
Rezy Pradipta and Pei-Chen Lai

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Short summary
A large explosion happened in Beirut on 4 Aug 2020, releasing significant amount of energy into the Earth's upper atmosphere; and traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) were generated. The TIDs have been observed in previous studies using GPS TEC measurements around Beirut (distance < 500 km). Here we used measurements from DMSP spacecraft and ionosondes in the Mediterranean to show that the TIDs from the Beirut explosion was actually able to reach greater distance than previously reported.