Articles | Volume 13, issue 4
Research article
23 Apr 2013
Research article |  | 23 Apr 2013

A comparison of classical and intelligent methods to detect potential thermal anomalies before the 11 August 2012 Varzeghan, Iran, earthquake (Mw = 6.4)

M. Akhoondzadeh

Abstract. In this paper, a number of classical and intelligent methods, including interquartile, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), artificial neural network (ANN) and support vector machine (SVM), have been proposed to quantify potential thermal anomalies around the time of the 11 August 2012 Varzeghan, Iran, earthquake (Mw = 6.4). The duration of the data set, which is comprised of Aqua-MODIS land surface temperature (LST) night-time snapshot images, is 62 days. In order to quantify variations of LST data obtained from satellite images, the air temperature (AT) data derived from the meteorological station close to the earthquake epicenter has been taken into account. For the models examined here, results indicate the following: (i) ARIMA models, which are the most widely used in the time series community for short-term forecasting, are quickly and easily implemented, and can efficiently act through linear solutions. (ii) A multilayer perceptron (MLP) feed-forward neural network can be a suitable non-parametric method to detect the anomalous changes of a non-linear time series such as variations of LST. (iii) Since SVMs are often used due to their many advantages for classification and regression tasks, it can be shown that, if the difference between the predicted value using the SVM method and the observed value exceeds the pre-defined threshold value, then the observed value could be regarded as an anomaly. (iv) ANN and SVM methods could be powerful tools in modeling complex phenomena such as earthquake precursor time series where we may not know what the underlying data generating process is. There is good agreement in the results obtained from the different methods for quantifying potential anomalies in a given LST time series. This paper indicates that the detection of the potential thermal anomalies derive credibility from the overall efficiencies and potentialities of the four integrated methods.