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Summary of Proposal GEO1000

TitleTerraSAR-X Study of the 2010 Silent Earthquake at Kilauea, Hawaii
Investigator zebker, howard - Stanford University, Geophysics and Electrical Engineering
Team Member
Professor Segall, Paul - stanford university, geophysics
SummaryWe propose to develop a method to observe surface deformation from a slow earthquake and to relate it to the potential for significant natural hazards.Our approach will be to use TerraSAR-X interferometric synthetic aperture radar, or InSAR, observations, along with GPS and other geodetic dataas available, to constrain models of subsurface movements.Our primary focus will be on imaginga transient process, seismically “silent,” which occurred in Hawaii in 2010. We will invert the observed deformations to characterize the causative subsurface structures. Our first effort will be to establish the spatial distribution of long-term, quasi-steady state deformation associated with the aseismic earthquake that occurred earlier this year.It caused surface deformation similar to an earthquake, and happened over a time scale of days.Improved characterization of the structures causing the slow slip events will help clarify their relationship to damaging earthquakes or possible catastrophic flank collapse and tsunami generation. We will use InSAR data from the TerraSAR-X satellite. Envisat can produce 10’s of interferograms of an area per year, but TerraSAR-X even more, however decorrelation limits the coverage to unvegetated lava surfaces.Here we will extend spatial coverage using new algorithms we have recently developed based on persistent scattering (PS) analysis. Specific products and goals include models of long-term deformation, including slip on various faults and dilation within volcanic magma bodies, from the summit of Mauna Loa and Kilauea as well as along the rift zones.Episodic events such as intrusions will be plainly visible as deviations from the long-term patterns and we will analyze these for dike geometry and changes in magma pressure.While silent earthquakes are presently best detected by GPS, we hope to improve spatial resolution and knowledge of the vertical deformation field with PS–InSAR methods.These deformation maps should better constrain the depth of the slowly slipping faults and the spatial distribution of slow slip.Only by understanding the geometry and properties of the active structures can we evaluate the potential for catastrophic flank collapse, which could lead to devastating tsunami. This work is funded by a proposal to NASA which is currently underway, and it will support all work proposed here.

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