Interseismic Deformation in the San Francisco Bay Area and Creep Estimates on the Calaveras Fault from InSAR Alone

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Estelle Chaussard1, Roland Burgmann1, Heresh Fattahi2, Ingrid A Johanson1 and Robert M Nadeau1, (1)Univ California Berkeley, Seismological Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, United States, (2)University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, FL, United States
Evaluation of interseismic strain accumulation and fault creep traditionally relies on GPS, alignment arrays and creepmeters, providing precise, but only horizontal and spatially sparse measurements. These measurements are often extrapolated into a model of the expected long-wavelength deformation, and InSAR data are adjusted to align with this modeled background displacement field. Thus, the InSAR data contributes only to characterization of short-wavelength deformation features. Here, we use InSAR to resolve small-amplitude long-wavelength displacements without an a priori model of deformation.

We perform InSAR time-series analysis of ERS and Envisat data to resolve the 1992-2011 ground deformation in the San Francisco Bay Area. We rely on multiple viewing geometries to isolate vertical and horizontal deformation and validate our InSAR velocity field by analyzing adjacent tracks and comparing with GPS, alignment arrays, and creepmeter measurements. We ultimately aim at characterizing creep and strain accumulation rates on the Calaveras Fault. Because the Calaveras Fault separates urban areas from vegetated hillslopes, keeping coherence across the fault can be challenging. Accordingly, we rely on an alternative Small Baseline Subset time series method, in which the image-pair selection is based on the percentage of coherent pixels in each interferogram in an area that spans the fault.

Our InSAR velocity field agrees well between adjacent tracks and the InSAR horizontal deformation agrees within ±1 mm/yr with the BAVU3 GPS velocity field. Additionally, InSAR-derived surface creep rates on the Hayward and Calaveras faults are in good agreement with local creep measurements. We thus demonstrate that InSAR enables resolving vertical and horizontal deformation partitioning in the Bay Area for signals as small as 2 mm/yr over both short- and long-wavelengths. We confirm that most of the interseismic deformation is horizontal, the vertical deformation being mostly due to hydrological effects. We provide new estimates of along-fault creep rate variations for the Calaveras Fault, demonstrating that long-term slip rates can be determined from InSAR alone. Finally, relying on InSAR and repeating earthquake data we develop a model of the sub-surface slip distribution along the Calaveras Fault.