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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 24, issue 3
Ann. Geophys., 24, 835–849, 2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 24, 835–849, 2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  19 May 2006

19 May 2006

Thermal, atmospheric and ionospheric anomalies around the time of the Colima M7.8 earthquake of 21 January 2003

S. A. Pulinets1, D. Ouzounov2, L. Ciraolo3, R. Singh4, G. Cervone5, A. Leyva1, M. Dunajecka6, A. V. Karelin7, K. A. Boyarchuk8, and A. Kotsarenko9 S. A. Pulinets et al.
  • 1Institute of Geophysics, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 2NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/SSAI, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
  • 3Institute of Applied Physics “Nello Carrara", CNR, Florence, Italy
  • 4Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India
  • 5George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
  • 6Institute of Geography, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 7IZMIRAN, Russian Academy of Sciences, Troitsk, Russia
  • 8NPP VNIIEM, Moscow Russia
  • 9Institute of Geosciences, UNAM, Mexico

Abstract. The paper examines the possible relationship of anomalous variations of different atmospheric and ionospheric parameters observed around the time of a strong earthquake (Mw 7.8) which occurred in Mexico (state of Colima) on 21 January 2003. These variations are interpreted within the framework of the developed model of the Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere coupling. The main attention is focused on the processes in the near ground layer of the atmosphere involving the ionization of air by radon, the water molecules' attachment to the formed ions, and the corresponding changes in the latent heat. Model considerations are supported by experimental measurements showing the local diminution of air humidity one week prior to the earthquake, accompanied by the anomalous thermal infrared (TIR) signals and surface latent heat flux (SLHF) and anomalous variations of the total electron content (TEC) registered over the epicenter of the impending earthquake three days prior to the main earthquake event. Statistical processing of the data of the GPS receivers network, together with various other atmospheric parameters demonstrate the possibility of an early warning of an impending strong earthquake.

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