Deformation due to the 17 August 1999 Izmit, Turkey, earthquake measured from SPOT images

Rémi Michel, Jean Philippe Avouac

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92 Citations (Scopus)


The geometry of the ruptured areas and the coseismic slip distribution data are key to highlighting the behavior of seismic faults. This information is generally retrieved from field investigations and geodetic measurements or synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry. Here we show that SPOT images can also be used to accurately map the fault zone and to determine the slip distribution by subpixel correlation of images acquired before and after an earthquake. The measured slip includes the contribution of possible distributed shear that might not be clearly expressed in surface ruptures and smoothes out possible along-strike variability due to near-surface fault complexities. We apply the technique to the Ms = 7.4, 1999, Izmit earthquake. Our results reveal a <100-m-wide and very linear fault zone that can be traced for 70 km from Gölcük to Akyazi, along which supershear rupture has been inferred. The obtained slip distribution compares well with the field measurements and is consistent with ground deformation measured at some distance from the fault zone using SAR images. Very little deformation was accommodated off the main fault plane. Maximum slip is observed near Sapanca lake at a small fault jog that has probably influenced rupture propagation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-1 - 2-7
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 10 Apr 2002


  • Deformation
  • Earthquake
  • Izmit
  • Offset


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