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Weather Satellite Thermal IR Responses Prior to EarthquakesA number of observers claim to have seen thermal anomalies prior to earthquakes, but subsequent analysis by others has failed to produce similar findings. What exactly are these anomalies? Might they be useful for earthquake prediction? It is the purpose of this study to determine if thermal anomalies can be found in association with known earthquakes by systematically co-registering weather satellite images at the sub-pixel level and then determining if statistically significant responses occurred prior to the earthquake event. A new set of automatic co-registration procedures was developed for this task to accommodate all properties particular to weather satellite observations taken at night, and it relies on the general condition that the ground cools after sunset. Using these procedures, we can produce a set of temperature-sensitive satellite images for each of five selected earthquakes (Algeria 2003; Bhuj, India 2001; Izmit, Turkey 2001; Kunlun Shan, Tibet 2001; Turkmenistan 2000) and thus more effectively investigate heating trends close to the epicenters a few hours prior to the earthquake events. This study will lay tracks for further work in earthquake prediction and provoke the question of the exact nature of the thermal anomalies.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
OConnor, Daniel P.
(College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Summer Student Research Presentations
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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