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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Zhang, X., and Zhang, L. F. (2020). Modeling co-seismic thermal infrared brightness anomalies in petroliferous basins surrounding the North and East of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. Earth Planet. Phys., 4(3), 296–307doi: 10.26464/epp2020029

2020, 4(3): 296-307. doi: 10.26464/epp2020029


Modeling co-seismic thermal infrared brightness anomalies in petroliferous basins surrounding the North and East of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau


Key Laboratory of Earthquake Monitoring and Disaster Reduction Technology, Guangdong Earthquake Agency, Guangzhou 510070, China


Qinghai Earthquake Agency, Xining 810001, China

Corresponding author: Xin Zhang,

Received Date: 2019-10-26
Web Publishing Date: 2020-05-01

Co-seismic gas leakage usually occurs on the edge of seismic faults in petroliferous basins, and it may have an impact on the local environment, such as the greenhouse effect, which can cause thermal infrared brightness anomalies. Using wavelet transform and power spectrum estimation methods, we processed brightness temperature data from the Chinese geostationary meteorological satellite FY-C/E. We report similarities between the co-seismic thermal infrared brightness (CTIB) anomalies before, during and after earthquakes that occurred at the edges of the Sichuan, Tarim, Qaidam, and Junggar basins surrounding the North and East of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau in western China. Additionally, in each petroliferous basin, the area of a single CTIB anomaly accounted for 50% to 100% of the basin area, and the spatial distribution similarities in the CTIB anomalies existed before, during and after these earthquakes. To better interpret the similarities, we developed a basin warming effect model based on geological structures and topography. The model suggests that in a petroliferous basin with a subsurface gas reservoir, gas leakage could strengthen with the increasing stress before, during, and even after an earthquake. The accumulation of these gases, such as the greenhouse gases CH4 and CO2, results in the CTIB anomalies. In addition, we conclude that the CTIB anomalies are strengthened by the high mountains (altitude ~5000 m) around the basins and the basins’ independent climatic conditions. This work provides a new perspective from which to understand the CTIB anomalies in petroliferous basins surrounding the North and East of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau.

Key words: co-seismic thermal infrared brightness (CTIB), relative power spectrum (RPS), gas leakage, basin warming effect

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Modeling co-seismic thermal infrared brightness anomalies in petroliferous basins surrounding the North and East of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau

Xin Zhang, LiFeng Zhang