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Coseismic lateral offsets of surface rupture zone produced by the 2001 Mw 7.8 Kunlun earthquake, Tibet from the IKONOS and QuickBird imagery

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Analyses and interpretations of 1m-resolution IKONOS, and 61cm-resolution QuickBird images reveal that the distribution of strike-slip offsets and ground deformation characteristics of the coseismic surface rupture produced by the 2001 M w 7.8 Kunlun earthquake occurred in the western segment of the strike-slip Kunlun fault, northern Tibet. The 2001 coseismic strike-slip offsets measured from IKONOS images range from 2 m up to 16.7 m, generally 3-8 m, which are generally consistent with those measured immediately in the field after the earthquake. The coseismic surface ruptures along which offsets were observed are mainly composed of a numerous of en echelon shear faults and cracks which are concentrated on a rupture zone ranging from a few meters up to ∼500 m in width. The offsets measured along individual shear faults or crack are typically 2-7 m, but up to >10 m in several locations. Our results show that high resolution remote sensing imagery provides a powerful tool for measuring coseismic strike-slip offsets and detecting the ground deformation produced by a large earthquake in the remote and high mountain Tibet region.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Geosciences, Faculty of Science, Shizuoka University, Shizuoka 422-8529, Japan,Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton 08544 NJ 2: Institute of Geosciences, Faculty of Science, Shizuoka University, Shizuoka 422-8529, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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