Recently, surface latent heat flux (SLHF) data have been widely used to study the anomalies before earthquakes. Most studies use the daily SLHF data. Here we use both the daily SLHF data and the high temporal resolution (four times one day) SLHF data, and compare the SLHF changes with satellite cloud images at the first time. We check the data from 1 September to 30 October 2011, and the result shows that there is really a very high SLHF anomaly (more than 2σ) in the epicenter area just 5 days before the M = 6.1 Russia earthquake that occurred on 14 October 2011. It should be considered as a preseismic precursor if judged with previously published methods, but our comparison between SLHF change and satellite images shows that the SLHF anomaly is contaminated by a thick cloud. It is difficult to verify that this SLHF anomaly is caused by an earthquake and our analysis shows that it is more related to meteorological reason. This example tells us that scientists must know the data's meaning before they use it; if not, they may draw a wrong conclusion. Based on this example, we suggest that previously published SLHF anomalies before earthquakes should be reanalyzed with our method to exclude the false anomalies.

Authors: 
Jie, Y.;Guangmeng, G.
Journal: 
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Publication Year: 
2014
DOI: 
10.5194/nhess-14-2649-2014