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PRE-EARTHQUAKES Overview PDF Print E-mail

A large scientific documentation is to-date available about the appearance of anomalous space-time patterns of geophysical parameters measured from days to week before earthquakes occurrence. Nevertheless up to now no one measurable parameter, no one observational methodology has demonstrated to be sufficiently reliable and effective for the implementation of an operational earthquake prediction system. To this aim, the combined use of different observations/parameters together with the refinement of data analysis methods are expected to give major improvements in order to reduce false alarm rates and improve reliability and precision (in the space-time domain) of predictions.


In this frontier research field EU and Russia are playing, since years, a worldwide scientific leading role and dispose of unique, satellite and ground based, Earth Observation systems and capabilities.

PRE-EARTHQUAKES intends to commit EU and Russian researchers to integrate different ground and satellite data  to improve, by cross-validating, their methodologies, in order:

  • to substantially improve our knowledge of preparatory phases of earthquakes and their possible precursors;
  • to promote a worldwide Earthquake Observation System (EQuOS) as a dedicated component of GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems);
  • to develop and offer to the international scientific community an integration platform  (PEG) where independent observations and new data analysis methodologies devoted to the research on/of earthquake precursors can be collected and cross-validated;

Different ground and satellite based observations, different data analysis methods, different measured parameter will be compared and integrated in order to move the research in this filed beyond its present frontiers.

Specific scientific objectives of the project will be investigated to demonstrate to which extent a systematic integration of independent observations can improve (possibly up to a pre-operational level of precision and reliability) our capabilities of short-term earthquake prediction which are presently based mostly on a single parameter/observation methods.

To these aims the project will be realized following 3 mainstreams devoted:

  • to coordinate and realize a systematic data acquisition and product generation in predefined (standardized) output formats;
  • to define and implement a common integration platform where heterogeneous data inputs can be ingested, organized and compared;
  • to validate and disseminate data analysis and integration methods/tools making them available and open to the contribution of the worldwide scientific community in order to further extend the number of contemporary monitored parameters and to improve quality of data analysis methods.

Main Earth Observation data products which PRE-EARTHQUAKES will generate, integrate and disseminate are summarized in the following table.

Highly seismic and well monitored regions (Sakhalin region in Far Eastern Russia, Italy and Turkey in Europe) have been selected as suitable areas where the integration of different observations and methodologies is expected to offer the best results.



The project also intends to contribute to the cooperation process started within the EU-Russian Space Dialogues’ Earth observation working group, by consolidating and further developing scientific cooperation among European and Russian researchers involved in the study of earthquake preparatory phenomena on the basis of Satellite and ground based Earth Observation Systems. The project will profit of the unique opportunity, offered by ESA and ROSKOSOMOS, to have access for free to their satellite data archives in order to integrate, compare, improve different methods and observations relevant for the study of preparatory phase of the earthquakes. 3 Russian and 3 European Scientific institutions, among the most worldwide quoted for this kind of studies will constitute the partnership of the project.

Algorithms (references)

[1] Tramutoli, V. 1998. “Robust AVHRR techniques (RAT) for environmental monitoring: theory and applications”, Earth surface remote sensing II in Proceedings of SPIE. Vol. 3496, pp. 101-113.

[2] Tramutoli, V. 2007. “Robust Satellite Techniques (RST) for Natural and Environmental Hazards Monitoring and Mitigation: Theory and Applications”, Proceedings of Multitemp 2007, Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MULTITEMP.2007.4293057.

[3] Tramutoli V, Cuomo V, Filizzola C, Pergola N, Pietrapertosa C. 2005. “Assessing the potential of thermal infrared satellite surveys for monitoring seismically active areas: The case of Kocaell (Izmit) earthquake, August 17 1999, Remote Sensing Of Environment, vol n.96, pag.409-426.

[4] Pulinets S. A., Gaivoronska T. B., Leyva Contreras A., Ciraolo L., Correlation analysis technique revealing ionospheric precursors of earthquakes, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 4, pp. 697-702, 2004

[5] Pulinets S. A., Boyarchuk K. A., Ionospheric Precursors of Earthquakes, Springer, Berlin, Germany, 315 p., 2004

[6] Pulinets S. A., Kotsarenko A. N., Ciraolo L., Pulinets I. A., Special case of ionospheric day-to-day variability associated with earthquake preparation, Adv. Space Res., 39 (5), 970-977, 2007.

[7] Jakowski, N., Sardon, E., Schlueter, S., GPS-Based TEC Observations in Comparison with IRI-95 and the European TEC Model NTCM2, Adv. in Space Res., 22, 803-806, 1998.

[8] Baran L.W., Shagimuratov I.I., Tepenitzina N.J., The use of GPS for ionospheric studies, Artifical Satellites, 32, 1997, pp 49-60.

[9] Afraimovich E.L., Astafyeva E.I., Oinats A.V., Yasukevich Yu.V., Zhivetiev I.V. Global electron content as a new index of solar activity. Comparison with IRI modeling results. IRI News. 2006. V.13. N.1. October 2006, A5.

[10] Krankowski A., Shagimuratov I.I., Baran L.W., Ephishov I.I. Study of TEC fluctuations in Antarctic ionosphere during storm using GPS observations. Acta Geophys. Polonica. 2005. V. 53. № 2. P. 205–218.

[11] Jakowski, N. Wehrenpfennig, A., Heise, S., Reigber, C. and Lühr, H., GPS Radio Occultation Measurements of the Ionosphere on CHAMP: Early Results, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29, No. 10, 10.1029/2001GL014364, 2002.

[12] Jakowski, N., Stankov, S.M., Schlueter, S., Klaehn, D., On developing a new ionospheric perturbation index for space weather operations, Adv. Space Res., doi:10.1016/j.asr.2005.07.043, 2005.

[13] Jakowski, N., Ionospheric GPS Radio Occultation measurements on board CHAMP, GPS Solutions (2005) 9: 88–95 DOI 10.1007/s10291-005-0137-7, 2005.

[14] Romanov, A.A., Urlichich, U.M., Pulinets, S.A., Romanov, A.A. and Selin, V.A. A pilot project on the comphrensive diagnosis of earthquake precursors on Sakhalin Island: Experiment results from 2007//PICES Scientific Report #36, 2009, pp. 208-214

[15] İnan, S., S. Ergintav, R. Saatçılar, B. Tüzel, Y. İravul (2007), Turkey Makes Major Investments in Earthquake Research, EOS Transactions, 88, 333-334

[16] Balasco, M., Lapenna, V. , Romano, G., Siniscalchi, A. ,Telesca, L. (2008), A new magnetotelluric monitoring network operating in Agri Valley (Southern Italy): study of stability of apparent resistivity estimates. Annals of Geophysics.


Project funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 263502. This publication reflects the views only of the authors. The EC cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.
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