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Tim Wright awarded 2017 Harold Jeffreys Lecture

COMET Director Tim Wright has been named as the Royal Astronomical Society’s Harold Jeffreys Lecturer – an honour given to a distinguished and eloquent lecturer in geophysics.

Tim, who has been given the award in recognition of his work on using InSAR to measure tectonic and volcanic deformation, will deliver his lecture at a meeting of the Society in the coming year.


LiCSAR service now live

High-resolution maps showing ground movement are now free to download thanks to a new service developed by COMET, the Looking inside the Continents from Space (LiCS) and Earthquakes without Frontiers projects.

The COMET-LiCS Sentinel-1 InSAR portal is providing access to results from LiCSAR, a system developed to process the vast amounts of data generated daily by the EU’s Sentinel-1 satellite constellation.   LiCSAR is now providing high-resolution deformation data for the entire Alpine-Himalayan seismic belt, where most of the planet’s deadly earthquakes occur.

LiCSAR images of the Alpine-Himalayan seismic belt

New Zealand Earthquake

The first Sentinel-1 interferogram (12 day 20161103-20161115) covering the Mw 7.8 New Zealand earthquake  is available to download for viewing as a kmz in GoogleEarth from here. Note that the fringes are wrapped to 2.8 cm displacement in the line-of-sight. The regions around where the fault projects to the surface are incoherent so it is hard to see exactly where they are. Note also there are some other artefacts (straight line discontinuities) which will not be fault offsets. Data thanks to ESA EU-Copernicus.

Image correlation results from Sentinel-2A data confirm right lateral displacements of ~10m along the length of the Kekerengu Fault. Smaller left lateral displacements of 3-5m are visible along the Papatea Fault near the Clarence river.

The range offsets (which are not susceptible to unwrapping errors unlike the above phase measurements) are available to download here.

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Coseismic Range Offsets from Sentinel-1 SAR data highlighting the fault trace and numerous fault segments.
Maps of E-W and N-S displacement from image matching of the 10m resolution Sentinel-2A data
Maps of E-W and N-S displacement from image matching of the 10m resolution Sentinel-2A data
Displacement along the Kekerengu Fault on the Clarence River
Displacement along the Kekerengu Fault on the Clarence River
ALOS-2 Interferograms

Also available for download as kmz files are wrapped displacement maps using ALOS-2 SAR data:
Coseismic Frame 194, 195 and 196.

ALOS-2 interferogram from track 195 showing the coseismic displacement field.
ALOS-2 interferogram from track 195 showing the coseismic displacement field.

Major Magnitude 6.6 Earthquake, Italy

Following the latest earthquake to strike the Apennines region of Italy, COMET scientists are continuing to analyse the latest ground deformation and surface faulting between the towns of Amatrice, Norcia and Visso.  The latest Sentinel-1 interferogram shows major ground subsidence and complex deformation patterns, and is available to download here.

You can also read more about recent events in Italy on our Earthquakes and Eruptions pages.

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Sentinel-1 interferogram covering the deformation of both the Mw 6.6 October 30th and the Mw 6.1 October 27th earthquakes.

Our research combines techniques such as Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) with ground-based observations and geophysical models to study earthquakes and volcanoes, and help understand the hazards they pose.

Since April 2014, we have been working in partnership with the British Geological Survey (BGS) to deliver cutting-edge research on earthquakes and volcanoes as well as hazard monitoring services. We also work closely with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) and European Space Agency (ESA), as well as many other national and international partners.

Centre for Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics