This interferogram from NASA's UAVSAR radar system shows ground displacements in Imperial County resulting from the magnitude 7.2 Baja California earthquake of April 4, 2010, overlaid atop a Google Earth image of the region. The red-and-yellow fan-shaped areas west of Calexico were those of greatest deformation, up to 31 inches in some spots. Red lines show major fault systems, while recent aftershocks are denoted by yellow, orange and red dots. (NASA/JPL/USGS/Google)
NASA Radar Images Show How Mexico Quake Deformed Earth
NASA has released the first-ever airborne radar images of the deformation in Earth’s surface caused by a major earthquake -- the magnitude 7.2 temblor that rocked Mexico’s state of Baja California and parts of the American Southwest on April 4. The data reveal that the quake moved the Calexico, Calif., region in a downward and southerly direction up to 31 inches.
A science team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., used the JPL-developed Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) to measure surface deformation from the quake. The radar is mounted on a Gulfstream-III aircraft from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center based in Palmdale, Calif., that flies at an altitude of 41,000 feet while conducting repeat-pass interferometry imaging.
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