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Near-Field High-Resolution Maps of the Ridgecrest Earthquakes from Aerial Imagery

Alba M. Rodriguez Padilla, Mercedes A. Quintana, Ruth M. Prado, Brian J. Aguilar, Thomas A. Shea, Michael E. Oskin, & Leslie Garcia

Published October 27, 2021, SCEC Contribution #11063

High-resolution maps of surface rupturing earthquakes are essential tools for quantifying rupture hazard, understanding the mechanics of rupture propagation, and interpreting evidence of past earthquakes in the landscape. We present highly detailed maps of 5 portions of the surface rupture of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes, derived from 5cm per pixel aerial imagery and 2-20cm per pixel UAV imagery. Our high-resolution maps cover areas of complexity and distributed deformation, sections where strain is very localized, and areas where the rupture breaks through sediment and bedrock, ensuring sampling of the diverse rupture styles of this earthquake sequence. These maps reveal the near-field deformation of the surface rupture with unprecedented detail, resolving the extent of secondary fracturing, lateral spreading, and liquefaction features that are below the resolution of airborne lidar data, field mapping, and geodesy. These data may serve as a machine learning training dataset, and offer opportunities for detailed kinematic analysis and high-resolution probabilistic displacement hazard analysis.

Rodriguez Padilla, A. M., Quintana, M. A., Prado, R. M., Aguilar, B. J., Shea, T. A., Oskin, M. E., & Garcia, L. (2021). Near-Field High-Resolution Maps of the Ridgecrest Earthquakes from Aerial Imagery. Seismological Research Letters, 93(1), 494-499. doi: 10.1785/0220210234.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Earthquake Geology, Fault and Rupture Mechanics (FARM)