Detection and interpretation of local surface deformation from the 2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake using ALOS-2 SAR data

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Abstract

We identified and analyzed surface displacements associated with the 2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake in northern Japan using satellite radar interferograms from the Advanced Land Observing Satellite 2. The data generally show elastic deformation caused by the main earthquake as well as numerous complex surface displacements that cannot be explained by the motion of the seismic source fault. We identified three distinct phenomena: linear surface displacements representing secondary earthquake faults west of the epicenter, surface deformation caused by liquefaction in urban and coastal areas, and coherence changes in the interferograms due to landslides in mountainous areas and liquefaction in urban areas. The linear surface displacements show reverse fault motion with low dip angles and appear to be a geographic extension of known active faults; however, it is unlikely that these displacements were directly connected to the source fault of the main earthquake. Although there is no evidence that they generated strong seismic waves at the time of the main earthquake, there is a possibility that they represent active fault traces and could be the sources of large earthquakes in the future. Therefore, such linear surface displacements can be used to identify potentially dangerous hidden active faults. The interferograms reveal that liquefaction in urban areas occurred in low areas artificially filled during past residential development. Coherence-change maps drawn from the interferograms were useful for detecting liquefaction, but their high sensitivity limited their application for landslide detection in mountainous areas; the phase noise deviation method was more practical for purposes such as rapid response or mitigation. Our methods have the potential to allow improved mapping of local hazards in other areas and can be applied to urban planning and/or safety assessments.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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Fujiwara, S., Nakano, T., Morishita, Y., Kobayashi, T., Yarai, H., Une, H., & Hayashi, K. (2019). Detection and interpretation of local surface deformation from the 2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake using ALOS-2 SAR data. Earth, Planets and Space, 71(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-019-1046-2

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