Using differential synthetic aperture radar interferometry (DInSAR) on COSMO-SkyMed (Constellation of Small Satellites for the Mediterranean Basin Observation) data, we obtain an accurate and spatially continuous measure of the coseismic ground displacement due to the Mw = 6.3 L'Aquila (central Italy) earthquake. We identify two local deformation patterns associated with long-term gravitational mass movements, and interpret the deformation mechanisms by integrating geological analysis and simple analytical modeling. These subtle deformations, the role of which in landscape evolution and earthquake-induced hazard needs to be fully assessed, may only be identified using high-resolution DInSAR.

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