SCEC Award Number 11093 View PDF
Proposal Category Collaborative Proposal (Data Gathering and Products)
Proposal Title Preliminary Analysis of the El Mayor-Cucapah Earthquake Surface Rupture with Pre- and Post-Event Airborne Lidar Data
Name Organization
Michael Oskin University of California, Davis Ramon Arrowsmith Arizona State University
Other Participants Oliver Kreylos
Srikanth Saripalli
SCEC Priorities A, B1, D SCEC Groups FARM, Geodesy, Geology
Report Due Date 02/29/2012 Date Report Submitted N/A
Project Abstract
We mapped surface ruptures and analyzed distributed vertical and 3-D deformation from pre- and post-event lidar topography for the 2010 El Mayor-Cucapah (EMC) earthquake rupture in northernmost Baja California, Mexico. Progress has been made on all tasks outlined in this 2011 SCEC project: mapping of surface ruptures at 1:500 resolution, comparison of these to field observations and inferred faults at depth, analysis of distributed vertical deformation from differencing of elevation data sets, and preliminary three-dimensional analysis of distributed deformation.
Intellectual Merit One of the most powerful applications of fault-zone LiDAR scans is to serve as the before image for comparison with a survey acquired after a future surface-rupturing earthquake. Then, every displaced feature acts as a geodetic marker from which an ultra-high resolution map of the surface displacement field may be constructed. Such a detailed displacement field shows how faults and their containing rock volume act together to accommodate deformation and grow geologic structures over successive earthquakes. This provides new understanding of how earthquake ruptures connect faults to generate larger, more destructive events, and illuminates cryptic, distributed components of deformation needed for improving estimates of long-term deformation rates and seismic hazard. This project advances the analysis and interpretation of differential lidar data collected from the 2010 El Mayor Cucapah earthquake, including the development of fully 3-dimensional approaches to unraveling fault-zone deformation.
Broader Impacts Publication of these results in Science led to significant press coverage, especially in online venues. We developed new perspective-visualizations of the differential lidar data for the press (Figure 4). This project has supported two graduate students (D. Banesh, D. Haddad) as well as collaboration with graduate student O. Teran at CICESE. This effort also sustains a growing collaboration with colleagues J. Fletcher, A. Hinojosa, and J. Gonzalez in CICESE, Baja California. All CICESE scientists named here are coauthors on the Science paper.
Exemplary Figure Figure 4. Visualization of the Paso Superior fault. Post-earthquake topography exaggerated by 2.5x, overlain by color map of vertical motion (red=up, yellow = stable, blue = down). Note subtle sagging of the fault hangingwall, and red patches on slopes that have moved laterally (compare to figure 3). This figure was part of the press-package released by Science.