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Earth Surface & Interior

Earthquakes occur along the San Andreas Fault System (SAFS) when the stress that has accumulated on a fault segment exceeds some threshold value. The main objective of this proposal is to use space geodetic tools to measure the present-day strain accumulation rate and to convert this measurement to stress accumulation rate using a physical model. When combined with historical and paleoseismic information, the stress rate grids provide critical information for earthquake hazard assessment. Our proposed approach will be to use the high accuracy point GPS measurements of the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory to estimate the 3-D strain field at length scales greater than the typical GPS spacing of 15 km. Radar interferograms, derived from the L-band synthetic aperture radar aboard the ALOS spacecraft (JAXA), will be used to estimate the strain field at shorter length scales (0.5 km to 15 km). These two types of measurements will be combined using a physical model as the interpolating function. The perceived significance and impact of this proposed research is: 1) the best fit model will be used to refine our understanding of the relationship between stress accumulation rate and earthquake recurrence interval; 2) through the analysis of thousands of interferograms, we will better understand the strengths and weaknesses of L-band InSAR to aid in the refinement of the parameters of a proposed U.S. L-band InSAR mission; 3) will deliver vector deformation grids and processed interferograms in latitude/longitude coordinates for other modeling groups to analyze and will continue to make this information accessible to the public.

Project PI: David Sandwell/University of California, San Diego

8795 Biological Grade Room 1102 La Jolla, CA 92037

Phone: (858) 534-7109

Email: dsandwell@ucsd.edu

http://topex.ucsd.edu/sandwell/

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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 09, 2010

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