During the morning (03:50:40 UTC) of 8 October 2005 a major (M w 7.6) shallow focus (26 km) earthquake struck Kashmir (Himalayan region). Its epicentre was located 10 km NNE of Muzaffarabad (USGS 2005, Magnitude 7.6 - Pakistan, available online at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqinthenews/2005/usdyae/). The present manuscript is an attempt to study the development of thermal anomaly in land surface temperature (LST) preceding this earthquake. Using data from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Terra satellite, the daily daytime LST images have been analysed for the correlation between LST variations and Kashmir earthquakes. An evident correlation of thermal anomaly in LST that is apparently related to pre-seismic activity has been identified. An attempt has also been made to quantify the change in LST (in °C) with reference to previous day temperature values and background data (MODIS LST data from 2000-2004). A 4-8°C rise in LST to the south of the earthquake epicentre has been observed seven days before the major event. Air temperature data from two meteorological stations (Islamabad and Srinagar) also supports the observations made through MODIS LST data. The role of terrain parameters like rock types, vegetation and topography upon the spatial and temporal variations of anomalous temperature area have been studied.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee - 247 667, India
Department of Earthquake Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee - 247 667, India
Publication date: 2007-01-01
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