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Measurement of the left‐lateral displacement of Ms 8.1 Kunlun earthquake on 14 November 2001 using Landsat‐7 ETM+ imagery

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An imageodesy study has been carried out, using pre‐ and post‐event Landsat‐7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) images, to reveal regional co‐seismic displacement caused by the Ms 8.1 Kunlun earthquake in November 2001. The two Landsat scenes, Kusai Lake and Buka Daban, cover an area of some 57 600 km 2 (320 km W–E and about 180 km N–S), which includes most of the fault rupture zone. The co‐seismic displacement measured in the Kusai Lake scene shows that the average left‐lateral shift along the Kunlun fault is 4.8 m (ranging from 1.5 to 8.1 m) and the maximum shift appears west of the Kusai Lake. The splayed nature of the fault to the west of Buka Daban, where the fault splits into three branches, causes the displacement pattern to become complicated. Here the average left‐lateral shift, between the south side of the southern branch and the north side of the northern branch, is 4.6 m (ranging from 1.0 to 8.2 m). Our results also illustrate that the south side of the fault is the ‘active' block, moving significantly in an east–south‐easterly direction, relative to the largely ‘stable' northern block.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, London, England, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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