Examination of a relationship between atmospheric blocking and seismic events in the Middle East using a new seismo-climatic index
- 1 Downloads
This study statistically examines the role of atmospheric blocking as a precursor of major seismic events. Atmospheric blocking archive and earthquake databases for the Middle East region are compiled for 2000–2013. Correlations between atmospheric blocking events and seismicity are examined based on defined seismo-climatic index (SCI) based on variations of earthquake frequency and magnitude before and after blocking events. Limiting the SCI index to values > 6, 16 out of 26 major earthquakes (M > 6), i.e. 62%, are shown to have occurred within 14 days after blocking events over their respective epicentral regions. The correlation between blocking events and subsequent seismicity falls into a range of 0.694–0.803. Additional blocking-related atmospheric anomalies such as cyclogenesis, cloud coverage, and anomalous rainfall prior to major earthquakes can be understood as processes that take place in the Earth’s crust and at the ground-to-air interface as a result of the stress activation of positive hole charge carriers at depth, in the hypocentral rock volume, and their rapid migration to the Earth’s surface. Hence, atmospheric blocking events in a seismically active region may be categorized as an earthquake precursory phenomenon.
KeywordsAtmospheric blocking Seismo-climatic index Seismicity Earthquake frequency and magnitude Middle East
M.R. Mansouri-Daneshvar likes to dedicate the present paper to his late dear mother Aghdas Nasle-Saraji for her never-failing support and to Somayeh Rezayi and Artina Mansouri-Daneshvar for their precious help during data preparation. The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on the data interpretations. Furthermore, the authors would like to thank the handling editor Dr. Stefan Schmid for his valuable technical suggestions and practical considerations on the paper from its submission to the publication process.
This study was not funded by any grant.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with participants performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from individual participant included in the study.
- Bleier, T., Dunson, C., Maniscalco, M., Bryant, N., Bambery, R., & Freund, F. T. (2009). Investigation of ULF magnetic pulsations, air conductivity changes, and infra red signatures associated with the 30 October Alum Rock M5.4 earthquake. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 9, 585–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Buehler, T., Raible, C. C., & Stocker, T. F. (2011). The relationship of winter season North Atlantic blocking frequencies to extreme cold or dry spells in the ERA-40. Tellus, 63(2), 212–222.Google Scholar
- Dubrov, M. N., Volkov, V. A., & Golovachev, S. P. (2014). Earthquake and hurricane coupling is ascertained by ground-based laser interferometer and satellite observing techniques. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 2, 935–961.Google Scholar
- Dunajecka, M. A., & Pulinets, S. A. (2005). Atmospheric and thermal anomalies observed around the time of strong earthquakes in México. Atmósfera, 18(4), 236–247.Google Scholar
- Freund, F. T., & Pilorz, S. (2012). Electric currents in the earth crust and the generation of pre-earthquake ULF signals. In M. Hayakawa (Ed.), Frontier of earthquake prediction studies (pp. 464–508). Tokyo: Nippon Shuppan.Google Scholar
- Gutenberg, B., & Richter, C. F. (1954). Seismicity of the earth and its associate phenomena (2nd ed., p. 310). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Heraud, J. (2014). Pre-earthquake signals at the ground level. In F. Freund & S. Langhoff (Eds.), Universe of scales: From nanotechnology to cosmology (pp. 133–157). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lupo, A. R., Niemeyer, J., Rabinowitz, J., Hensen, C., Balkissoon, S., Clay, C., Korner, A., Renken, J., Bradshaw, T., & Herman, J. (2014). Northern hemisphere blocking archive data. Department of soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences. University of Missouri, Columbia. http://weather.missouri.edu/gcc. Accessed 25 Dec 2014.
- Mansouri Daneshvar, M. R. (2015). Synoptic assessment of the atmospheric precursors in order to foresight of major earthquake events in the Middle East. PhD Thesis in Climatology and Environmental Planning at Sistan and Baluchestan University (in Persian).Google Scholar
- Marshall, A. G., Hudson, D., Hendon, H. H., Pook, M. J., Alves, O., & Wheeler, M. C. (2013). Simulation and prediction of blocking in the Australian region and its influence on intra-seasonal rainfall in POAMA-2. Climate Dynamics, 42(11–12), 3271–3288.Google Scholar
- Ondoh, T. (2003). Anomalous sporadic-E layers observed before M 7.2 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake; Terrestrial gas emanation model. Advances in Polar Upper Atmosphere Research, 17, 96–108.Google Scholar
- Pulinets, S. A., Bondur, V. G., Tsidilina, M. N., & Gapunova, M. V. (2010). Verification of the Concept of Seismoionospheric Coupling under Quiet Heliogeomagnetic Conditions, using the Wenchuan (China) Earthquake of May 12, 2008, as an Example. Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 50(2), 231–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pulinets, S. A., & Ouzounov, D. (2010). Lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere coupling (LAIC) model—an unified concept for earthquake precursors validation. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 41(4–5), 371–382.Google Scholar
- Pulinets, S. A., Ouzounov, D., Karelin, A., & Davidenko, D. (2014). Physical bases of the generation of short-term earthquake precursors: A complex model of ionization-induced geophysical processes in the lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system. Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 55(4), 522–539.Google Scholar
- Richter, C. F. (1958). Elementary seismology. San Fransisco: WH Freeman and Co.Google Scholar
- Shutts, G. J. (1983). The propagation of eddies in diffluent jetstreams—Eddy vorticity forcing of blocking flow-fields. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 109, 737–761.Google Scholar
- Thompson, E. M., Baise, L. G., & Vogel, R. M. (2007). A global index earthquake approach to probabilistic assessment of extremes. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, B06314.Google Scholar
- USGS (2014). Earthquake archive data. Online catalog of United States Geological Survey. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes. Accessed 20 Oct 2014.
- Yada, N., & Saito, Y. (2012). Precursor observed by movements of aero-ionization measurement prior to the pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake in 2011. EMSEV 2012. Gotemba, Japan.Google Scholar