Using Daily Observations from Planet Labs Satellite Imagery to Separate the Surface Deformation between the 4 July Mw 6.4 Foreshock and 5 July Mw 7.1 Mainshock during the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence

Chris Milliner, & Andrea Donnellan

Published January 22, 2020, SCEC Contribution #10070

On 4 July 2019, the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence began with a series of foreshocks including an Mw 6.4 event near Searles Valley, California. This was then followed 34 hr later by an Mw 7.1 mainshock located just 15 km to the north, with the earthquake sequence resulting in a complex array of intersecting faults. This earthquake sequence poses several interesting questions including, did the stress changes induced by the Mw 6.4 foreshock trigger the Mw 7.1 mainshock and what possible mechanism(s) could explain the occurrence of widespread secondary faulting surrounding both surface ruptures? However, most of the geodetic data (such as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar, light detection and ranging, and optical satellite imagery) were acquired after both events had occurred making it difficult to discern which surface fractures happened when and their possible triggering mechanism. Here, we provide a dataset composed of high‐resolution optical imagery, pixel‐value difference maps, .kmz fracturing mapping, and horizontal deformation maps derived from subpixel image correlation, which can uniquely separate the surface fracturing and deformation between the foreshock and mainshock events that can help answer these questions. Separate imaging of the events is made possible by the daily acquisition of optical imagery by the Planet Labs cubesat constellation, which acquired data between the two earthquakes, in the morning of 4 and 5 July, at 11.13 a.m. and 05.12 p.m. PST, respectively, with the images acquired just 40 min after the foreshock and 56 min before the mainshock, respectively. Analysis from this optical imagery reveals the location of surface faulting that allows us to map their spatial extent and determine their timing. These data which we provide here can help guide and validate field survey observations to help understand which faults ruptured when, and constrain slip inversion models for more accurate estimates of stress changes induced by the foreshock imposed on the surrounding faults.

Key Words
Ridgecrest earthquake optical radar image correlation deformation

Citation
Milliner, C., & Donnellan, A. (2020). Using Daily Observations from Planet Labs Satellite Imagery to Separate the Surface Deformation between the 4 July Mw 6.4 Foreshock and 5 July Mw 7.1 Mainshock during the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence. Seismological Research Letters,. doi: 10.1785/0220190271.


Related Projects & Working Groups
Development of Next-Generation PFDHA Using High-resolution Geodetic Imaging Data, Tectonic Geodesy, Earthquake Engineering Implementation Interface (EEII), Earthquake Geology