Modelling co- and post-seismic displacements revealed by InSAR, and their implications for fault behaviour

Feng, Wanpeng (2015) Modelling co- and post-seismic displacements revealed by InSAR, and their implications for fault behaviour. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2015FengPhdcoversheet.pdf] PDF
Download (47kB)
[thumbnail of 2015FengPhd.pdf] PDF
Download (29MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


The ultimate goal of seismology is to estimate the timing, magnitude and potential spatial extent of future seismic events along pre-existing faults. Based on the rate-state friction law, several theoretical physical earthquake models have been proposed towards this goal. Tectonic loading rate and frictional properties of faults are required in these models. Modern geodetic observations, e.g. GPS and InSAR, have provided unprecedented near-field observations following large earthquakes. In theory, according to the frictional rate and state asperity earthquake model, velocity-weakening regions holding seismic motions on faults should be separated with velocity-strengthening regions within which faults slip only aseismically. However, early afterslip following the 2011 MW 9.1 Tohoku-Oki earthquake revealed from GPS measurements was largely overlaid on the historical rupture zones, which challenged the velocity weakening asperity model. Therefore, the performance of the laboratory based friction law in the natural events needs further investigation, and the factors that may affect the estimates of slip models through geodetic modelling should also be discussed systematically. In this thesis, several moderate-strong events were investigated in order to address this important issue.
The best-fit co- and post-seismic slip models following the 2009 MW 6.3 Haixi, Qinghai thrust-slip earthquake determined by InSAR deformation time-series suggest that the maximum afterslip is concentrated in the same area as the coseismic slip model, which is similar to the patterns observed in the 2011 Japan earthquake. In this case, complex geometric asperity may play a vital role in the coseismic nucleation and postseismic faulting. The major early afterslip after the 2011 MW 7.1 Van mainshock, which was revealed by one COSMO-SkyMed postseismic interferogram, is found just above the coseismic slip pattern. In this event, a postseismic modelling that did not allow slip across the coseismic asperity was also tested, suggesting that the slip model without slip in the asperities can explain the postseismic observations as well as the afterslip model without constraints on slip in the asperities. In the 2011 MW 9.1 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, a joint inversion with the GRACE coseismic gravity changes and inland coseismic GPS observations was conducted to re-investigate the coseismic slip model of the mainshock. A comparison of slip models from these different datasets suggests that significant variations of slip models can be observed, particularly the locations of the maximum slips. The joint slip model shows that the maximum slip of ~42 m appears near the seafloor surface close to the Japan Trench. Meanwhile, the accumulative afterslip patterns (slip >2 m) determined in previous studies appear in spatial correlation with the Coulomb stress changes generated using the joint slip model. As a strike-slip faulting event, the 2011 MW 6.8 Yushu earthquake was also investigated through co- and post-seismic modelling with more SAR data than was used in previous study. Best slip models suggest that the major afterslip is concentrated in shallow parts of the faults and between the two major coseismic slip patterns, suggesting that the performance of the rate and state frictional asperity model is appropriate in this event. Other postseismic physical mechanisms, pore-elastic rebound and viscoelastic relaxation have also been examined, which cannot significantly affect the estimate of the shallow afterslip model in this study. It is believed that the shallow afterslip predominantly controlled the postseismic behaviour after the mainshock in this case. In comparison to another 21 earthquakes investigated using geodetic data from other studies, complementary spatial extents between co- and post-seismic slip models can be identified. The 2009 MW 6.3 Qinghai earthquake is an exceptional case, in which the faulting behaviours might be dominated by the fault structure (e.g. fault bending).
In conclusion, the major contributions from this thesis include: 1) the friction law gives a first order fit in most of natural events examined in this thesis; 2) geometric asperities may play an important role in faulting during earthquake cycles; 3) significant uncertainties in co- and post-seismic slip models can appreciably bias the estimation of fault frictional properties; 4) new insights derived from each earthquake regarding their fault structures and complex faulting behaviours have been observed in this thesis; and (5) a novel package for geodetic earthquake modelling has been developed, which can handle multiple datasets including InSAR, GPS and land/space based gravity changes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: insar; surface deformation; earthquake; faulting behaviour; geodetic modelling
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Earth Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Li, Professor Zhenhong and Hoey, Professor Trevor
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Dr. Wanpeng Feng
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6284
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2015 09:14
Last Modified: 01 May 2015 07:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year