Development of a Standardized Methodology for the Use of COSI-Corr Sub-Pixel Image Correlation to Determine Surface Deformation Patterns in Large Magnitude Earthquakes.

Monday, 15 December 2014
Christopher William Douglas Milliner1, James Francis Dolan1, James Hollingsworth2, Sebastien Leprince3 and Francois Ayoub3, (1)University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (2)GĂ©oazur - Nice University, Valbonne, France, (3)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
Coseismic surface deformation is typically measured in the field by geologists and with a range of geophysical methods such as InSAR, LiDAR and GPS. Current methods, however, either fail to capture the near-field coseismic surface deformation pattern where vital information is needed, or lack pre-event data. We develop a standardized and reproducible methodology to fully constrain the surface, near-field, coseismic deformation pattern in high resolution using aerial photography.

We apply our methodology using the program COSI-corr to successfully cross-correlate pairs of aerial, optical imagery before and after the 1992, Mw 7.3 Landers and 1999, Mw 7.1 Hector Mine earthquakes. This technique allows measurement of the coseismic slip distribution and magnitude and width of off-fault deformation with sub-pixel precision. This technique can be applied in a cost effective manner for recent and historic earthquakes using archive aerial imagery.

We also use synthetic tests to constrain and correct for the bias imposed on the result due to use of a sliding window during correlation. Correcting for artificial smearing of the tectonic signal allows us to robustly measure the fault zone width along a surface rupture. Furthermore, the synthetic tests have constrained for the first time the measurement precision and accuracy of estimated fault displacements and fault-zone width. Our methodology provides the unique ability to robustly understand the kinematics of surface faulting while at the same time accounting for both off-fault deformation and measurement biases that typically complicates such data. For both earthquakes we find that our displacement measurements derived from cross-correlation are systematically larger than the field displacement measurements, indicating the presence of off-fault deformation. We show that the Landers and Hector Mine earthquake accommodated 46% and 38% of displacement away from the main primary rupture as off-fault deformation, over a mean deformation width of 183 m and 133 m, respectively. We envisage that correlation results derived from our methodology will provide vital data for near-field deformation patterns and will be of significant use for constraining inversion solutions for fault slip at depth.