Atmosphere response to pre-earthquake processes revealed by satellite and ground observations. Case study for few strong earthquakes in Xinjiang, China (2008-2014)

Dimitar Ouzounov, Sergey Pulinets, Ke Sun, Xuhui Shen, Menas Kafatos


We are presenting the latest results of multi-sensor observations of short-term pre-earthquake phenomena preceding significant earthquakes. We study satellite thermal infrared radiation (OLR) anomalous signals in association with three major earthquakes, which occurred in Xinjiang province, China at different periods M7.3 of 02.12.2014; M6.2 of 08.12.2012; and M7.2 of 03.20.2008. We systematically apply multi-sensor satellite thermal data and ground temperature /humidity and estimates of the atmospheric chemical potential (ACP) parameter. Data analyses include NOAA NPOESS, the Chinese geostationary satellite FY-2D, and in-situ hourly NOAA data from the Hotan weather station. In all three cases, we detected atmospheric satellite OLR anomalies developed near the epicenter area and ACP increases (significant change for 2008 and 2014, weak for 2012) over the major Altyn Tagh fault lines within 10-20 days before the earthquake event. These findings demonstrate the occurrence and reoccurrence of transient variations of these parameters, implying their connection with the earthquake preparation process.


precursors; thermal anomaly; LAIC; radon

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