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Rapid Response to the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake With Distributed Acoustic Sensing

Li, Zefeng and Shen, Zhichao and Yang, Yan and Williams, Ethan and Wang, Xin and Zhan, Zhongwen (2021) Rapid Response to the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake With Distributed Acoustic Sensing. AGU Advances, 2 (2). Art. No. e2021AV000395. ISSN 2576-604X. doi:10.1029/2021av000395.

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Rapid seismic deployments after major earthquakes often produce critical data for characterizing postseismic processes. Taking advantage of pre-existing optical fibers, the recently emerging distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology can quickly establish ultra-dense seismic arrays after the mainshocks. Here we present the first example of such a rapid-response experiment using four telecommunication fiber optic cables near the 2019 M 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake in California. By applying template matching to the Ridgecrest DAS array, we detected 6 times more aftershocks than the standard catalog within the three-month period. The enhanced catalog reveals abundant aftershocks on multiple crosscutting faults near the epicenters of the mainshock and the M 6.4 foreshock. Given the widespread fiber optic networks around the world, DAS has the potential to deliver fast and high-resolution aftershock monitoring and promote better understanding of earthquake physics.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Li, Zefeng0000-0003-4405-8872
Shen, Zhichao0000-0003-0458-5264
Yang, Yan0000-0002-6105-2918
Williams, Ethan0000-0002-7917-4104
Wang, Xin0000-0002-6180-0058
Zhan, Zhongwen0000-0002-5586-2607
Additional Information:© 2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. Issue Online: 25 June 2021; Version of Record online: 25 June 2021; Manuscript accepted: 25 May 2021; Manuscript revised: 23 May 2021; Manuscript received: 15 January 2021. The authors are grateful to the instrument and field support provided by Martin Karrenbach, Lisa LaFlame of OptaSense Inc. Thomas Coleman of Silixa Inc. and Andrew Klesh of JPL. We thank the Digital 395 and JPL for providing fiber access promptly after the Ridgecrest earthquake. The work is supported by NSF CAREER Award 1848166, NSF GMG Center at Caltech, and the Braun Trust. Zefeng Li is also supported by USTC Research Funds of the Double First-Class Initiative YD2080002006. Data Availability Statement: The catalog of template events and the broadband data are from the Caltech/USGS Southern California Seismic Network ( stored at the Southern California Earthquake Data Center ( The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this study.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of Science and Technology of ChinaYD2080002006
Subject Keywords:earthquake science; aftershock monitoring; distributed acoustic sensing
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210630-210657872
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Li, Z., Shen, Z., Yang, Y., Williams, E., Wang, X., & Zhan, Z. (2021). Rapid response to the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake with distributed acoustic sensing. AGU Advances, 2, e2021AV000395.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109685
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Jun 2021 22:39
Last Modified:06 Jul 2021 21:54

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