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Summary of Proposal GEO1924

TitleSeismic and geodetic coupling along the Pamir Main Thrust: Insights into strain partitioning in continental collision zones
Investigator Metzger, Sabrina - Helmholtz Center Potsdam, GFZ, Department of Geodynamics and Geomaterials
Team Member
Dr. Schurr, Bernd - Helmholtz Center Potsdam, Geoscience Research Center (GFZ), Department of Geodynamics and Geomaterials, Section 3.1 (Lithosphere Dynamics)
Prof. Dr. Oncken, Onno - Helmholtz Center Potsdam, Geoscience Research Center (GFZ), Department of Geodynamics and Geomaterials, Section 3.1 (Lithosphere Dynamics)
SummaryThe Pamir in central Asia is the westernmost branch of the Himalayan mountain range and is tectonically extraordinary in several aspects: It shows the greatest shortening over the shortest distance in the India-Asia collision zone and hosts Earth's most spectacular active intra-continental subduction zone. In this project we focus on the Main Pamir Thrust (MPT), the northernmost fault of the Pamir with a remarkable convergence rate of 10-15 mm/yr (Zubovich et al., 2010). Two M7.4 earthquakes ruptured the eastern and western fault segments in 1949 and 1974, probably increasing the stress on the 100 km-long central segment that has not ruptured during historical times, i.e. for at least 100 years (Jackson et al., 1979, Evans et al., 2009).
We want to use TerrSAR-X data to analyze the interseismic deformation of the MPT in order to better understand the kinematics and the seismic potential of the fault. We will apply time-series analysis to extract the subtle deformation signal across the MPT and verify/combine the results with ground-truth data (GPS). In addition we can also use the data of the unique seismic catalog of the area obtained by the TIPAGE project, an international co-operation between various research institutions. All these data will be used as input to a kinematic model of the MPT. The model results will improve the tectonic understanding of the complicated collision zone and help to assess the seismic potential of the locked fault segment. In a wider scientific scope we can compare the results to other continental megathrust faults like the Himalaya Frontal Thrust that is considered to be fully coupled (e.g. Ader et al., 2012) and to subduction megathrusts that usually are partly locked (e.g. Chlieh et al., 2011).
All available TerraSAR-X data (stripmap and scanSAR, SSC) of descending and ascending mode will covering the MPT will be used in order to obtain a good signal-to-noise ratio for the InSAR time-series analysis. We ask for at minimum six summer scenes per year for each frame to avoid decorrelation due to snow, with scenes preferrably acquired at each satellite pass.
Our work is supported by the strong computational infrastructure of GFZ Potsdam and the data will be processed with open-source software at no additional costs.

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