Robust TIR satellite techniques for monitoring earthquake active regions: limits, main achievements and perspectives

C. Aliano, R. Corrado, C. Filizzola, N. Genzano, N. Pergola, V. Tramutoli


In the last few years, Robust Satellite data analysis Techniques (RST) have been proposed which significantly improved present capabilities to investigate possible relations between TIR signal fluctuations and earthquake occurrence. This paper, starting from a critical survey of results achieved by applying different RST-based algorithms to different satellite sensors to approximately ten earthquakes (two of them are discussed here for the first time) which occurred in three different continents, tries to offer a first assessment of main achievements, residual limits and perspectives of such studies. Even if it is still not possible to relate (or to exclude) observed anomalous TIR transients definitely to impending earthquakes, such studies demonstrate at least: a) the strong improvement of S/N ratio achievable moving from polar to geostationary satellites; b) the further S/N improvement achievable by using TIR sensors which also offer split-window possibilities; c) the crucial role played by a space-time persistence test to select TIR anomalies candidate to be associated to impending earthquakes; d) the possibility of identifying and correctly discarding TIR anomalies related to clouds and to image navigation errors; e) the scarce importance of spatial resolution of observations which encourages the use of passive MW sensors which are less affected by atmospheric conditions.


RST;Earthquake;satellite thermal infrared;Hector Mine;Izmit;GeoSTAR

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X