Investigation of the earthquake cloud precursor in the 2017 Azgeleh earthquake in Kermanshah, Iran

Document Type : Research Article


1 Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Department of Geography, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran


Earthquake cloud is an ancient and visual precursor of an earthquake that sometimes forms over the earthquake fault and is often close to its epicenter several days before the earthquake. The most important characteristic of an earthquake cloud is that it emanates from the ground and stays in the sky for hours. The present study aims to find the terrible 2017 Azgeleh earthquake cloud by the visual interpretation of Meteosat-8 satellite images. The characters of the cloud in question are then investigated by using the same satellite products. In this study, the Azgeleh earthquake cloud and also the 2021 Sisakht earthquake cloud were found. The cloud was shown to have had a geological origin, and the formation of such a cloud was not a common occurrence there. The Azgeleh earthquake occurred near the High Zagros fault (HZF), whereas its cloud had been formed about 700km further away from its epicenter, on other parts of the same fault over a 160km-long line. Visual searching for earthquake clouds from the ground and the sky is a public scientific hobby, especially for amateur meteorologists using satellite imagery. The formation of an earthquake cloud over a fault can be a warning of a possible impending earthquake on that fault, which, of course, needs further investigation.
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