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2009
Barbot, S, Fialko Y, Sandwell D.  2009.  Three-dimensional models of elastostatic deformation in heterogeneous media, with applications to the Eastern California Shear Zone. Geophysical Journal International. 179:500-520.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04194.x   AbstractWebsite

P>We present a semi-analytic iterative procedure for evaluating the 3-D deformation due to faults in an arbitrarily heterogeneous elastic half-space. Spatially variable elastic properties are modelled with equivalent body forces and equivalent surface traction in a 'homogenized' elastic medium. The displacement field is obtained in the Fourier domain using a semi-analytic Green function. We apply this model to investigate the response of 3-D compliant zones (CZ) around major crustal faults to coseismic stressing by nearby earthquakes. We constrain the two elastic moduli, as well as the geometry of the fault zones by comparing the model predictions to Synthetic Aperture Radar inferferometric (InSAR) data. Our results confirm that the CZ models for the Rodman, Calico and Pinto Mountain faults in the Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) can explain the coseismic InSAR data from both the Landers and the Hector Mine earthquakes. For the Pinto Mountain fault zone, InSAR data suggest a 50 per cent reduction in effective shear modulus and no significant change in Poisson's ratio compared to the ambient crust. The large wavelength of coseismic line-of-sight displacements around the Pinto Mountain fault requires a fairly wide (similar to 1.9 km) CZ extending to a depth of at least 9 km. Best fit for the Calico CZ, north of Galway Dry Lake, is obtained for a 4 km deep structure, with a 60 per cent reduction in shear modulus, with no change in Poisson's ratio. We find that the required effective rigidity of the Calico fault zone south of Galway Dry Lake is not as low as that of the northern segment, suggesting along-strike variations of effective elastic moduli within the same fault zone. The ECSZ InSAR data is best explained by CZ models with reduction in both shear and bulk moduli. These observations suggest pervasive and widespread damage around active crustal faults.

2002
Mellors, RJ, Sichoix L, Sandwell DT.  2002.  Lack of precursory slip to the 1999 Hector Mine, California, earthquake as constrained by InSAR. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 92:1443-1449.   10.1785/0120010244   AbstractWebsite

We looked for evidence of interseismic strain occurring between the 1992 Landers earthquake and the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake near the Lavic Lake and Bullion faults by using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). Interferograms covering the Hector Mine epicentral region were studied for possible slip along the Bullion and Lavic Lake faults by both visual inspection and a matched filter technique intended to emphasize slip located at the nucleation point. Some indications of possible deformation associated with the 5 July 1992 M-L 5.4 Pisgah event was observed, but high decorrelation prevented a conclusive determination. We have seen no evidence for precursory slip in the epicentral region up to 30 days before the Hector Mine event. We estimated that the slip equivalent to a M-w 4.5 event would have been observable in the months before the Hector Mine event, and this places an upper bound on the long-term precursory slip, had it occurred. We have noted that InSAR is well suited for detecting precursory slip in general due to the high spatial resolution and the lack of ground instrumentation required but that the detection level depends on the depth and orientation of the slip.

Baer, G, Schattner U, Wachs D, Sandwell D, Wdowinski S, Frydman S.  2002.  The lowest place on Earth is subsiding - An InSAR (interferometric synthetic aperture radar) perspective. Geological Society of America Bulletin. 114:12-23.   10.1130/0016-7606(2002)114<0012:tlpoei>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

Since the early 1990s, sinkholes and wide, shallow subsidence features (WSSFs) have become major problems along the Dead Sea shores in Israel and Jordan. Sinkholes are readily observed in the field, but their locations and timing are unpredictable. WSSFs are often difficult to observe in the field. However, once identified, they delineate zones of instability and increasing hazard. In this study we identify, characterize, and measure rates of subsidence along the Dead Sea shores by the interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technique. We analyze 16 SAR scenes acquired during the years 1992 to 1999 by the European Remote Sensing ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites. The interferograms span periods of between 2 and 71 months. WSSFs are observed in the Lisan Peninsula and along the Dead Sea shores, in a variety of appearances, including circular and elongate coastal depressions (a few hundred meters to a few kilometers in length), depressions in ancient alluvial fans, and depressions along salt-diapir margins. Phase differences measured in our interferograms correspond to subsidence rates generally in the range of 0-20 mm/yr within the studied period, with exceptional high rates that exceed 60 mm/yr in two specific regions. During the study period, the level of the Dead Sea and of the associated ground water has dropped by similar to6 m. This water-level drop within an aquifer overlying fine-grained, marly layers, would be expected to have caused aquifer-system consolidation resulting in gradual subsidence. Comparison of our InSAR observations with calculations of the expected consolidation shows that in areas where marl layers are known to compose part of the upper 30 m of the profile, estimated consolidation settlements are of the order of the measured subsidence. Our observations also show that in certain locations, subsidence appears to be structurally controlled by faults, seaward landslides, and salt domes. Gradual subsidence is unlikely to be directly related to the sinkholes, excluding the use of the WSSFs features as predictable precursors to sinkhole formation.

Watson, KM, Bock Y, Sandwell DT.  2002.  Satellite interferometric observations of displacements associated with seasonal groundwater in the Los Angeles basin. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 107   10.1029/2001jb000470   AbstractWebsite

[1] The Newport-Inglewood fault zone (NIFZ) displays interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) phase features along most of its length having amplitudes of up to 60 mm. However, interpretation in terms of right-lateral, shallow slip along the fault fails to match the range of geologic estimates of slip. Recently, Bawden et al. [2001] proposed that these phase features, as well as a broader deformation pattern in the Los Angeles basin, are due to vertical motion related to annual variations in the elevation of the water table. We confirm this hypothesis through the analysis of a longer span of data consisting of 26 SAR images collected by the ERS-1 and ERS-2 spacecraft between June 1992 and June 2000. Moreover, we use continuous GPS measurements from 1995 to the present to establish the amplitude and phase of the vertical deformation. The Los Angeles basin becomes most inflated one quarter of the way through the year, which is consistent with water table measurements as well as with the end of the rainy season when the aquifer should be at a maximum. The spatial pattern of the amplitude of the annual signal derived from continuous GPS measurements is consistent with the shape of the interferometric fringes. GPS sites both near the NIFZ and in a 20 by 40 km zone within the basin also show significant N-S annual variations that may be related to the differential expansion across the fault. Since these horizontal signals have peak-to-trough amplitudes of 6 mm, they mask the smaller tectonic signals and need to be taken into account when interpreting GPS time series of site position. Moreover, since the groundwater signal appears to have a long-term vertical trend which varies in sign depending on location, it will be difficult to distinguish interseismic tectonic slip along the NIFZ and within the affected areas in the basin.

2000
Sandwell, DT, Sichoix L, Agnew D, Bock Y, Minster JB.  2000.  Near real-time radar interferometry of the Mw 7.1 Hector Mine Earthquake. Geophysical Research Letters. 27:3101-3104.   10.1029/1999gl011209   AbstractWebsite

The Hector Mine Earthquake (Mw 7.1, 16 October 1999) ruptured 45 km of previously mapped and unmapped faults in the Mojave Desert. The ERS-2 satellite imaged the Mojave Desert on 15 September and again on 20 October, just 4 days after the earthquake. Using a newly-developed ground station we acquired both passes and were able to form an interferogram within 20 hours of the second overflight. Estimates of slip along the main rupture are 1-2 meters greater than slip derived from geological mapping. The gradient of the interferometric phase reveals an interesting pattern of triggered slip on adjacent faults as well as a 30 mm deep sink hole along Interstate 40.

Sandwell, DT, Sichoix L.  2000.  Topographic phase recovery from stacked ERS interferometry and a low-resolution digital elevation model. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 105:28211-28222.   10.1029/2000jb900340   AbstractWebsite

A hybrid approach to topographic recovery from ERS interferometry is developed and assessed. Tropospheric/ionospheric artifacts, imprecise orbital information, and layover are key issues in recovering topography and surface deformation from repeat-pass interferometry. Previously, we developed a phase gradient approach to stacking interferograms to reduce these errors and also to reduce the short-wavelength phase noise (see Sandwell and Pi-ice [1998] and Appendix A). Here the method is extended to use a low-resolution digital elevation model to constrain long-wavelength phase errors and an iteration scheme to minimize errors in the computation of phase gradient. We demonstrate the topographic phase recovery on 16-m postings using 25 ERS synthetic aperture radar images from an area of southern California containing 2700 m of relief. On the basis of a comparison with 81 GPS monuments, the ERS-derived topography has a typical absolute accuracy of better than 10 m except in areas of layover. The resulting topographic phase enables accurate two-pass, real-time interferometry even in mountainous areas where traditional phase unwrapping schemes fail. As an example, we form a topography-free (127-m perpendicular baseline) interferogram spanning 7.5 years; fringes from two major earthquakes and aseismic slip on the San Andreas Fault are clearly isolated.

1999
Yale, MM, Sandwell DT.  1999.  Stacked global satellite gravity profiles. Geophysics. 64:1748-1755.   10.1190/1.1444680   AbstractWebsite

Gravity field recovery from satellite altimetry provides global marine coverage but lacks the accuracy and resolution needed for many exploration geophysics studies. The repeating ground tracks of the ERS-1/2, Geosat, and Topex/Poseidon altimeters offer the possibility of improving the accuracy and resolution of gravity anomalies along widely spaced (similar to 40-km spacing) tracks. However, complete ocean coverage is usually needed to convert the sea-surface height (br along-track slope) measurements into gravity anomalies. Here we develop and test a method for constructing stacked gravity profiles by using a published global gravity grid (Sandwell and Smith, 1997), V7.2, as a reference model for the slope-to-gravity anomaly conversion. The method is applied to stacks (averages) of Geosat/ERM (up to 62 cycles), ERS-1/2 (up to 43 cycles), and Topex (up to 142 cycles) satellite altimeter profiles. We assess the accuracies of the ERS-1/2 profiles through a comparison with a gravity model of the northern Gulf of Mexico (profiles provided by EDCON Inc.). The 40 ERS profiles evaluated have a mean rms difference of 3.77 mGal and full wavelength resolution (0.5 coherence) of 24 km. Our processing retains wavelengths as short as 10 km so smaller, large-amplitude features can be resolved, especially in shallow ocean areas (<1000 m deep). We provide an example of combining these higher resolution profiles with lower resolution gravity data in the Caspian Sea.

Baer, G, Sandwell D, Williams S, Bock Y, Shamir G.  1999.  Coseismic deformation associated with the November 1995, M-w=7.1 Nuweiba earthquake, Gulf of Elat (Aqaba), detected by synthetic aperture radar interferometry. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 104:25221-25232.   10.1029/1999jb900216   AbstractWebsite

The November 22, 1995, M-w=7.1 Nuweiba earthquake occurred along one of the left-stepping segments of the Dead Sea Transform in the Gulf of flat (Aqaba). Although it was the largest earthquake along this fault in the last few centuries, little is yet known about the geometry of the rupture, the slip distribution along it, and the nature of postseismic deformation following the main shock. In this study we examine the surface deformation pattern during the coseismic phase of the earthquake in an attempt to better elucidate the earthquake rupture process. As the entire rupture zone was beneath the waters of the Gulf, and there is very little Global Positioning System (GPS) data available in the region for the period spanning the earthquake, interferometric synthetic aperture radar (INSAR) provides the only source of information of surface deformation associated with this earthquake. We chose four synthetic aperture radar (SAR) scenes of about 90x90 km each spanning the rupture area, imaged by the ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites. The coseismic interferograms show contours of equal satellite-to-ground range changes that correspond to surface displacements due to the earthquake rupture. Interferograms that span the earthquake by 1 week show similar fringe patterns' as those that span the earthquake by 6 months, suggesting that postseismic deformation is minor or confined to the first week after the earthquake. A high displacement gradient is seen on the western side of the Gulf, 20-40 km south of flat and Aqaba, where the total satellite-to-ground range changes are at least 15 cm. The displacement gradient is relatively uniform on the eastern side of the Gulf and the range changes are less than 10 cm. To interpret these results, we compare them to synthetic interferograms generated by elastic dislocation models with a variety of fault parameters. Although selecting the best fit fault parameters is nonunique, we are able to generate a group of simplified model interferograms that provide a reasonable fit to the coseismic interferogram and serve to constrain the location of the fault. The present analysis shows that if the rupture reached the Gulf-bottom surface, the mean sinistral slip along the fault is constrained to about 1.4 m. If surface rupture did not occur, the average sinistral slip is constrained to the range of 1.4-3 m for a fault patch buried 0-4 km below the Gulf-bottom Surface, respectively, with a minor normal component.

1998
Price, EJ, Sandwell DT.  1998.  Small-scale deformations associated with the 1992 Landers, California, earthquake mapped by synthetic aperture radar interferometry phase gradients. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 103:27001-27016.   10.1029/98jb01821   AbstractWebsite

The Landers earthquake (M-w 7.3) occurred on June 28, 1992, and ruptured nearly 100 km of previously mapped and unmapped faults in the Mojave Desert. We use synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) to examine the cumulative surface deformation between April 24 and August 7, 1992, in a 100 x 100 km region surrounding the northern portion of the earthquake rupture. Also, we introduce a technique for manipulating SAR interferograms to extract short-wavelength displacement information. This technique involves computation and subsequent combination of interferometric phase gradient maps. The InSAR results show significant deformation signatures associated with faults, fractures, dry lake beds, and mountainous regions within 75-100 km of the main rupture. Using the phase gradient method, we are able to extract small-scale deformation patterns near the main rupture. Many of the preexisting, mapped faults within 50 km of the main rupture experienced triggered slip; these include the Old Woman, Lenwood, Johnson Valley, West Calico, and Calico Faults. The InSAR results also indicate right-lateral offsets along secondary fractures trending N-NE within the left-lateral zone of shear between the main rupture and the Johnson Valley Fault. Additionally, there are interesting interferogram fringe signatures surrounding Troy Dry Lake and Coyote Dry Lake that are related to deformation of dry lake beds.

Sandwell, DT, Price EJ.  1998.  Phase gradient approach to stacking interferograms. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 103:30183-30204.   10.1029/1998jb900008   AbstractWebsite

The phase gradient approach is used to construct averages and differences of interferograms without phase unwrapping. Our objectives for change detection are to increase fringe clarity and decrease errors due to tropospheric and ionospheric delay by averaging many interferograms. The standard approach requires phase unwrapping, scaling the phase according to the ratio of the perpendicular baseline, and finally forming the average or difference; however, unique phase unwrapping is usually not possible. Since the phase gradient due to topography is proportional to the perpendicular baseline, phase unwrapping is unnecessary prior to averaging or differencing. Phase unwrapping may be needed to interpret the results, but it is delayed until all of the largest topographic signals are removed. We demonstrate the method by averaging and differencing six interferograms having a suite of perpendicular baselines ranging from 18 to 406 m. Cross-spectral analysis of the difference between two Tandem interferograms provides estimates of spatial resolution, which are used to design prestack filters. A wide range of perpendicular baselines provides the best topographic recovery in terms of accuracy and coverage. Outside of mountainous areas the topography has a relative accuracy of better than 2 m. Residual interferograms (single interferogram minus stack) have tilts across the unwrapped phase that are typically 50 mm in both range and azimuth, reflecting both orbit error and atmospheric delay. Smaller-scale waves with amplitudes of 15 mm are interpreted as atmospheric lee waves. A few Global Positioning System (GPS) control points within a Game could increase the precision to similar to 20 mm for a single interferogram; further improvements may be achieved by stacking residual interferograms.