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Published May 2002 | Published
Journal Article Open

Coseismic Deformation from the 1999 M_w 7.1 Hector Mine, California, Earthquake as Inferred from InSAR and GPS Observations


We use interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) and Global Positioning System (GPS) observations to investigate static deformation due to the 1999 M_w 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake, that occurred in the eastern California shear zone. Interferometric decorrelation, phase, and azimuth offset measurements indicate regions of surface and near-surface slip, which we use to constrain the geometry of surface rupture. The inferred geometry is spatially complex, with multiple strands. The southern third of the rupture zone consists of three subparallel segments extending about 20 km in length in a N45°W direction. The central segment is the simplest, with a single strand crossing the Bullion Mountains and a strike of N10°W. The northern third of the rupture zone is characterized by multiple splays, with directions subparallel to strikes in the southern and central. The average strike for the entire rupture is about N30°W. The interferograms indicate significant along-strike variations in strain which are consistent with variations in the ground-based slip measurements. Using a variable resolution data sampling routine to reduce the computational burden, we invert the InSAR and GPS data for the fault geometry and distribution of slip. We compare results from assuming an elastic half-space and a layered elastic space. Results from these two elastic models are similar, although the layered-space model predicts more slip at depth than does the half-space model. The layered model predicts a maximum coseismic slip of more than 5 m at a depth of 3 to 6 km. Contrary to preliminary reports, the northern part of the Hector Mine rupture accommodates the maximum slip. Our model predictions for the surface fault offset and total seismic moment agree with both field mapping results and recent seismic models. The inferred shallow slip deficit is enigmatic and may suggest that distributed inelastic yielding occurred in the uppermost few kilometers of the crust during or soon after the earthquake.

Additional Information

© 2002 Seismological Society of America. Original InSAR data are copyright by the European Space Agency and distributed by Eurimage, Italy, via the WInSAR data consortium. We are grateful to D. Agnew and E. Hauksson for providing GPS observations and relocated seismicity data before publication, and to K. Hudnut, S. Owen, and M. Rymer for their efficient reviews. We acknowledge the Southern California Integrated GPS Network and its sponsors, the W.M. Keck Foundation, NASA, NSF, USGS, and SCEC for providing data used in this study. Processed radar interferograms used in this study are available from the authors. Contribution Number 8857 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. This research was partially supported by the Southern California Earthquake Center. SCEC is funded by NSF Cooperative Agreement Number EAR-8920136 and USGS Cooperative Agreements Number 14-08-0001-A0899 and 1434-HQ-97AG01718. The SCEC contribution number for this paper is 636.

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