Earthquakes are unpredictable and potentially destructive natural disasters that take a long time to recover from. Monitoring post-earthquake human activity (HA) is of great significance to recovery and reconstruction work. There is a strong correlation between night-time light (NTL) and HA, which aid in the study of spatiotemporal changes in post-earthquake human activities. However, seasonal and noise impact from National Polar-Orbiting Partnership Satellite Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (NPP/VIIRS) data greatly limits their application. To tackle these issues, random noise and seasonal fluctuation of NPP/VIIRS from January 2014 to December 2018 is removed by adopting the seasonal-trend decomposition procedure based on loess (STL). Based on the theory of post-earthquake recovery model, a post-earthquake night-time light piecewise (PNLP) pattern is explored by employing the National Polar-Orbiting Partnership Satellite Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (NPP/VIIRS) monthly data. PNLP indicators, including pre-earthquake development rate (kp
), recovery rate (kr1
), reconstruction rate (kr2
), development rate (kd
), relative reconstruction rate (krp
) and loss (S), are defined to describe the PNLP pattern. Furthermore, the 2015 Nepal earthquake is chosen as a case study and the spatiotemporal changes in different areas are analyzed. The results reveal that: (1) STL is an effective algorithm for obtaining HA trend from the time series of denoising NTL; (2) the PNLP pattern, divided into four phases, namely the emergency phase (EP), recovery phase (RP-1), reconstruction phase (RP-2), and development phase (DP), aptly describes the variation in post-earthquake HA; (3) PNLP indicators are capable of evaluating the recovery differences across regions. The main socio-economic factors affecting the PNLP pattern and PNLP indicators are energy source for lighting, type of building, agricultural economy, and human poverty index. Based on the NPP/VIIRS data, the PNLP pattern can reflect the periodical changes of HA after earthquakes and provide an effective means for the analysis and evaluation of post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction.
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