Articles | Volume 13, issue 10
Research article
09 Oct 2013
Research article |  | 09 Oct 2013

Anomalies of total column CO and O3 associated with great earthquakes in recent years

Y. Cui, J. Du, D. Zhang, and Y. Sun

Abstract. Variations of total column CO and O3 in the atmosphere over the epicenter areas of 35 great earthquakes that occurred throughout the world in recent years were studied based on the hyper-spectrum data from Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). It was found that anomalous increases of CO and/or O3 concentrations occurred over the epicenter areas of 12 earthquakes among the 35 studied ones. However, increases in both CO and O3 concentrations were found for 6 earthquakes. The O3 anomalies appeared in the month when the earthquake occurred and lasted for a few months, whereas CO anomalies occurred irregularly. The duration of CO and O3 anomalies related to the earthquakes ranged from 1 to 6 months. The anomalies of CO concentration related to the earthquake can be mainly attributed to gas emission from the lithosphere and photochemical reaction, while the anomalous increases in O3 concentration can be mainly due to the transport of O3-enriched air and photochemical reaction. However, more work needs to be done in order to understand the mechanism of the CO and O3 anomalies further.