Coseismic Displacements and Surface Fractures from Sentinel-1 InSAR: 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquakes

Xiaohua Xu, David T. Sandwell, & Bridget R. Smith-Konter

Published January 15, 2020, SCEC Contribution #10855

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar is an important tool for imaging surface deformation from large continental earthquakes. Here, we present maps of coseismic displacement and strain from the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes using multiple Sentinel-1 images. We provide three types of interferometric products. (1) Standard interfero- grams from two look directions provide an overview of the deformation and can be used for modeling coseismic slip. (2) Phase gradient maps from stacks of coseismic inter- ferograms provide high-resolution ( ∼ 30 m) images of strain concentration and surface fracturing that can be used to guide field surveys. (3) High-pass filtered, stacked, unwrapped phase is decomposed into east–west and up–down, south–north compo- nents and is used to determine the sense of fault slip. The resulting phase gradient maps reveal over 300 surface fractures, including triggered slip on the Garlock fault. The east– west component of high-pass filtered phase reveals the polarity of the strike-slip offset (right lateral or left lateral) for many of the fractures. We find a small number of frac- tures that have slip polarity that is retrograde to the background tectonic stress. This is similar to observations of retrograde slip observed near the 1999 Mw 7.1 Hector Mine rupture, but the Ridgecrest observations are more completely imaged by the frequent and high-quality acquisitions from the twin Sentinel-1 spacecrafts. Determining whether the retrograde features are triggered slip on existing faults, or compliant fault deforma- tion in response to stress changes from the Ridgecrest earthquakes, or new Coulomb- style failures, will require additional field work, modeling, and analysis.

Xu, X., Sandwell, D. T., & Smith-Konter, B. R. (2020). Coseismic Displacements and Surface Fractures from Sentinel-1 InSAR: 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquakes. Seismological Research Letters, 91(4), 1979-1985. doi: 10.1785/0220190275.