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Authors: Masci, F. 
Title: The study of ionospheric anomalies in Japan area during 1998–2010 by Kon et al.: An inaccurate claim of earthquake-related signatures?
Issue Date: 5-Sep-2012
Series/Report no.: / 57 (2012)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jseaes.2012.06.009
Keywords: Ionospheric anomalies
Total electron content
Earthquake-related ionospheric anomalies
Short-term earthquake prediction
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.04. Magnetic anomalies 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: The problem of identifying precursory signals of earthquakes in the hope of mitigate the seismic hazard is a very important topic, but inaccurate documentations of precursory signatures decrease the credibility of this field of research. The statistical analysis by Kon et al. (2011) shows that there is tendency of positive total electron content (TEC) anomalies to occur 1–5 days before 52 M > 6 earthquakes which struck Japan during 1998–2010. Kon et al. (2011) also report in detail three selected case studies claiming the occurrence of TEC anomalies possibly related to large and destructive earthquakes. This paper casts doubts on the possibility that in the three cases the TEC disturbances were caused by seismic events suggesting that these TEC changes could be induced by normal variations of the global geomagnetic activity. As a consequence, also the results of the Superimposed Epoch Analysis performed by Kon et al. (2011) could be seriously influenced by global magnetospheric signals.
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