NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Satellite Infrared Radiation Measurements Prior to the Major EarthquakesThis work describes our search for a relationship between tectonic stresses and increases in mid-infrared (IR) flux as part of a possible ensemble of electromagnetic (EM) phenomena that may be related to earthquake activity. We present and &scuss observed variations in thermal transients and radiation fields prior to the earthquakes of Jan 22, 2003 Colima (M6.7) Mexico, Sept. 28 .2004 near Parkfield (M6.0) in California and Northern Sumatra (M8.5) Dec. 26,2004. Previous analysis of earthquake events has indicated the presence of an IR anomaly, where temperatures increased or did not return to its usual nighttime value. Our procedures analyze nighttime satellite data that records the general condtion of the ground after sunset. We have found from the MODIS instrument data that five days before the Colima earthquake the IR land surface nighttime temperature rose up to +4 degrees C in a 100 km radius around the epicenter. The IR transient field recorded by MODIS in the vicinity of Parkfield, also with a cloud free environment, was around +1 degree C and is significantly smaller than the IR anomaly around the Colima epicenter. Ground surface temperatures near the Parkfield epicenter four days prior to the earthquake show steady increase. However, on the night preceding the quake, a significant drop in relative humidity was indicated, process similar to those register prior to the Colima event. Recent analyses of continuous ongoing long- wavelength Earth radiation (OLR) indicate significant and anomalous variability prior to some earthquakes. The cause of these anomalies is not well understood but could be the result of a triggering by an interaction between the lithosphere-hydrosphere and atmospheric related to changes in the near surface electrical field and/or gas composition prior to the earthquake. The OLR anomaly usually covers large areas surrounding the main epicenter. We have found strong anomalies signal (two sigma) along the epicentral area signals on Dec 21, five days prior to the Northern Sumatra quake compared to the reference field for December 2001-2004 periods. Our recent results support the hypothesis of a possible relationship between a thermodynamic processes produced by increasing tectonic stress in the Earth's crust and a subsequent electro-chemical interaction between this crust and the atmosphere/ionosphere.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Ouzounov, Dimitar
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Pulintes, S.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Bryant, N.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Taylor, Patrick
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Freund, F.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Space Radiation
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available