Being located on the “Ring of Fire” Japan experiences many seismic events. Adding to this, it is located at the convergence of four fault lines where seismic activity will be even more frequent and severe. Although small tremors occurring in an area are indicators of an earthquake to come it only gives minutes of warning. Scientists are now trying to see if latent heat and gas release from fault lines can indicate an earthquake to come with hours or even days of warning. MODIS aqua and terra data will be analyzed in order to see if such precursors can be found using satellite data. Once an earthquake has occurred it can affect other aspects of the environment, like surrounding water bodies. The second half of this study will analyze the chlorophyll a and color dissolved organic matter content in order to gage the health of the ocean as a result of the earthquakes. However, in the atmospheric data major changes or indications could not be linked to the earthquake it self but rather to seasonal fluctuations in anthropogenic pollutants. Hydrologic data did show some correlation between changes in chlorophyll a and color dissolved organic matter content, but this only occurred when the earthquake and its succeeding events lead to infrastructure collapse. This does show that better earthquake precursor events are need to indicate when an event will occur so there can be better preparation to protect our infrastructure.
Nakatsui, Kiyoko, "Possible Precursor Events to Earthquakes and the Resulting Effects on Organic Material in the Surrounding Water Bodies" (2015). Student Research Day Abstracts and Posters. 147.