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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2012, Article ID 583097, 13 pages
Review Article

Precursor-Like Anomalies prior to the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake: A Critical-but-Constructive Review

Institute of Geophysics, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100081, China

Received 7 August 2011; Accepted 31 October 2011

Academic Editor: Rodol̀fo Console

Copyright © 2012 Tengfei Ma and Zhongliang Wu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Results published since the last three years on the observations of the precursor-like anomalies before the May 12, 2008, Wenchuan, 8.0 earthquake are collected and analyzed. These retrospective case studies would have provided heuristic clues about the preparation process of this inland great earthquake and the predictability of this destructive event if the standards for the rigorous test of earthquake forecast schemes were strictly observed. At least in some of these studies, however, several issues still need to be further examined to confirm or falsify the connection of the reported observations with the Wenchuan earthquake. Some of the problems are due to the inevitable limitation of observational infrastructure at the recent time, but some of the problems are due to the lack of communication about the test of earthquake forecast schemes. For the interdisciplinary studies on earthquake forecast, reminding of the latter issue seems of special importance for promoting the works and cooperation in this field.