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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 15, issue 3 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 637-645, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 27 Mar 2015

Research article | 27 Mar 2015

Estimation of three-dimensional crustal movements in the 2011 Tohoku-Oki, Japan, earthquake from TerraSAR-X intensity images

W. Liu1, F. Yamazaki1, M. Matsuoka2, T. Nonaka3, and T. Sasagawa3 W. Liu et al.
  • 1Department of Urban Environment Systems, Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
  • 2Department of Built Environment, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan
  • 3Satellite Business Division, PASCO Corporation, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract. The Tohoku-Oki earthquake on 11 March 2011 caused significant widespread crustal movements. In a previous study, we proposed a method for capturing two-dimensional (2-D) surface displacements from a pair of pre- and post-event TerraSAR-X (TSX) intensity images. However, it is impossible to detect three-dimensional (3-D) displacements from one pair of TSX images. In this study, three pairs of pre- and post-event TSX images taken on different paths were used to estimate 3-D crustal movements. The relationship between the actual 3-D displacements and the converted 2-D movements in the synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) images was derived based on the observation model of a SAR sensor. The 3-D movements were then calculated from three sets of detected 2-D movements that occurred within a short time period. Compared with GPS observations, the proposed method was found to be capable of detecting the 3-D crustal movements with sub-pixel accuracy.

Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The method for capturing two-dimensional surface displacements was applied to three pairs of pre- and post-event high-resolution TerraSAR-X intensity images of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake taken in ascending and descending paths, and the results were used for estimating the actual three-dimensional movements. Compared with the GPS data at three ground-control stations, the estimation errors in the horizontal and vertical directions were less than 0.3 m in spite of the pixels size (1.25 m).
The method for capturing two-dimensional surface displacements was applied to three pairs of...