The 2010, M=7.0 Haiti earthquake was one of the worst natural disasters of the past century with more than 230,000 fatalities. The earthquake ruptured a 40 km long fault and had a seismic moment of 5.44 x 1026 dyne cm. A magnitude 7 earthquake typically displaces the Earth’s crust by 3-5 meters and deforms the crust over a wide area along the fault. It also induces large transient displacements, termed postseismic deformation. In this research project we used Synthetic Aperture Radar observations acquired by the German satellite TerraSAR-X (TSX) to detect postseismic deforma0on induced by the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The advantages of using TSX data are their very high spatial resolution (1-5
meters) and short repeat 0me (11 days). However, the satellite acquires data over a narrow swath (30 km) and its X-band signal degrades within short time, except over urban areas. We obtained 22 scenes covering the eastern portion of the earthquake rupture area, from before and after the earthquake. Interferometric data processing, which compares phase observations between pairs of acquisitions, allows us to detect surface deformation induced by the earthquake. Our analysis shows a patch of postseismic deformation at the northeastern extent of the Leogane delta.
The deformation is time-dependent and occurred in the first 24 days after the earthquake. The deformation occurred due to groundwater flow as the water table adjusted to the hydraulic conditions imposed by the sudden uplift of the delta by ~80 cm with respect to unchanged sea level.
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
NEES EOT (2010), "Monitoring Post-seismic Crustal Deformation in Haiti with TerraSAR-X Observations," http://nees.org/resources/1248.