Abstract

A basic model incorporating satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry of the fault rupture zone that formed during the Kocaeli earthquake of August 17, 1999, documents the elastic rebound that resulted from the concomitant elastic strain release along the North Anatolian fault. For pure strike-slip faults, the elastic rebound function derived from SAR interferometry is directly invertible from the distribution of elastic strain on the fault at criticality, just before the critical shear stress was exceeded and the fault ruptured. The Kocaeli earthquake, which was accompanied by as much as ∼5 m of surface displacement, distributed strain ∼110 km around the fault prior to faulting, although most of it was concentrated in a narrower and asymmetric 10-km-wide zone on either side of the fault. The use of SAR interferometry to document the distribution of elastic strain at the critical condition for faulting is clearly a valuable tool, both for scientific investigation and for the effective management of earthquake hazard.

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