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Satellite detection of earthquake thermal infrared precursors in Iran

Author

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  • Arun Saraf

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  • Vineeta Rawat
  • Priyanka Banerjee
  • Swapnamita Choudhury
  • Santosh Panda
  • Sudipta Dasgupta
  • J. Das

Abstract

Stress accumulated in rocks in tectonically active areas may manifest itself as electromagnetic radiation emission and temperature variation through a process of energy transformation. Land surface temperature (LST) changes before an impending earthquake can be detected with thermal infrared (TIR) sensors such as NOAA-AVHRR, Terra/Aqua-MODIS, etc. TIR anomalies produced by 10 recent earthquakes in Iran during the period of Jun 2002–Jun 2006 in the tectonically active belt have been studied using pre- and post-earthquake NOAA-AVHRR datasets. Data analysis revealed a transient TIR rise in LST ranging 2–13°C in and around epicentral areas. The thermal anomalies started developing about 1–10 days prior to the main event depending upon the magnitude and focal depth, and disappeared after the main shock. In the case of moderate earthquakes (>6 magnitude) a dual thermal peak instead of the single rise has been observed. This may lead us to understand that perhaps pre-event sporadic release of energy from stressed rocks leads to a reduction in magnitude of the main shock. This TIR temperature increment prior to an impending earthquake can be attributed to degassing from rocks under stress or to p-hole activation in the stressed rock volume and their further recombination at the rock–air interface. A precise correlation of LST maps of Bam and Zarand with InSAR-generated deformation maps also provides evidence that the thermal anomaly is a ground-related phenomenon, not an atmospheric one. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Suggested Citation

  • Arun Saraf & Vineeta Rawat & Priyanka Banerjee & Swapnamita Choudhury & Santosh Panda & Sudipta Dasgupta & J. Das, 2008. "Satellite detection of earthquake thermal infrared precursors in Iran," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 47(1), pages 119-135, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:nathaz:v:47:y:2008:i:1:p:119-135
    DOI: 10.1007/s11069-007-9201-7
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Qing-Lin Yao & Zu-Ji Qiang, 2010. "The elliptic stress thermal field prior to M S 7.3 Yutian, and M S 8.0 Wenchuan earthquakes in China in 2008," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 54(2), pages 307-322, August.
    2. repec:spr:nathaz:v:92:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11069-018-3224-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Qing-Lin Yao & Zu-Ji Qiang, 2012. "Thermal infrared anomalies as a precursor of strong earthquakes in the distant future," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 62(3), pages 991-1003, July.
    4. Vineeta Rawat & Arun Saraf & Josodhir Das & Kanika Sharma & Yazdana Shujat, 2011. "Anomalous land surface temperature and outgoing long-wave radiation observations prior to earthquakes in India and Romania," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 59(1), pages 33-46, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Earthquake; Thermal infrared anomaly;

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