Distinguishing slip from the M6.4 and M7.1 Ridgecrest earthquakes using campaign GPS data

Gareth Funning, Michael Floyd, & Rachel L. Terry

Published August 15, 2019, SCEC Contribution #9822, 2019 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #233

The 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes pose interesting questions about the nature of intersecting conjugate ruptures, and also the possibility of re-rupture of fault segments. Aftershocks of the July 4th M6.4 event suggest the possibility of a secondary rupture along the fault that subsequently ruptured in the July 5th M7.1 event. Unfortunately, neither InSAR nor rupture mapping will be able to resolve this question, as no SAR acquisitions were made between the two earthquakes, and the critical ‘nexus’ of the two ruptures was located on the China Lake Navy base, and was not accessible between the events.

Campaign GPS data may provide clues to resolving these questions. We reoccupied 5 previously surveyed GPS benchmarks in the hours following the M6.4 event, meaning that we can separately measure the deformation from the two earthquakes at those locations. We construct a joint inversion of our campaign GPS data, along with the daily displacements of nearby continuous GPS stations, ascending and descending Sentinel-1 InSAR data, and additional campaign GPS data acquired in subsequent weeks, in order to separate the fault geometry and slip of the two earthquakes, and address the question of re-rupture. This approach also allows us to precisely estimate the contribution of the early postseismic deformation to the InSAR data.

Key Words
Ridgecrest, Earthquake, GPS, coseismic

Funning, G., Floyd, M., & Terry, R. L. (2019, 08). Distinguishing slip from the M6.4 and M7.1 Ridgecrest earthquakes using campaign GPS data. Poster Presentation at 2019 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Ridgecrest Earthquakes