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Science. 2012 Feb 10;335(6069):702-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1213778.

Near-field deformation from the El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake revealed by differential LIDAR.

Author information

  • 1Department of Geology, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95618, USA. meoskin@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

Large [moment magnitude (M(w)) ≥ 7] continental earthquakes often generate complex, multifault ruptures linked by enigmatic zones of distributed deformation. Here, we report the collection and results of a high-resolution (≥nine returns per square meter) airborne light detection and ranging (LIDAR) topographic survey of the 2010 M(w) 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake that produced a 120-kilometer-long multifault rupture through northernmost Baja California, Mexico. This differential LIDAR survey completely captures an earthquake surface rupture in a sparsely vegetated region with pre-earthquake lower-resolution (5-meter-pixel) LIDAR data. The postevent survey reveals numerous surface ruptures, including previously undocumented blind faults within thick sediments of the Colorado River delta. Differential elevation changes show distributed, kilometer-scale bending strains as large as ~10(3) microstrains in response to slip along discontinuous faults cutting crystalline bedrock of the Sierra Cucapah.

PMID:
22323817
[PubMed]
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