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Welcome to GEO's Tohoku-oki Event Supersite Website

    A message from GEO's task lead

    Dear Supersites Scientist,

    Let me express my deepest condolences to the people of Japan affected by this tragic earthquake and tsunami. This disaster is the first time that multiple space agencies openly provide SAR data for scientific use. We have to report to the agencies on how the data and this website was used. Please take some time to provide your feedback by writing to Particularly valuable are anecdotes on how this website facilitated the understanding of the tectonic processes in Japan, how it made your work more efficient, and how it was used for event response, outreach and education. We want to use your experience to argue for open data provision in the future. We also welcome suggestions for improvement.

    Falk Amelung
    Lead, GEO's Geohazard Supersites Task
    University of Miami

Revisions Data Source availability
New on Tuesday May 24:
GEOSS article on GEO website
New on Thursday May 12:
more INGV ERS2 interferograms
New on Wednesday April 27:
INGV ERS2 interferograms
New on Thursday April 21:
ARIA PALSAR aftershocks
New on Tuesday April 19:
ARIA PALSAR aftershocks
INGV ASTER heat map
New on Monday April 18:
HUA PALSAR interferogram
New on Friday April 15:
INGV Envisat interferogram
New on Thursday April 14:
DECIDER MODIS inudation map
New on Monday April 11:
Ohio State PALSAR interferogram
New on Sunday April 10:
INGV inudation maps
New on Thursday April 7:
SIGRIS Cosmo-SkyMed maps
Ohio State damage maps
New on Sunday April 3:
LSGI Envisat interferogram
New on Friday April 1:
Gamma Envisat coherence loss
Harokopio University TerraSAR-X interferogram
New on Thursday March 31:
IG Spain Envisat interferogram
New on Wednesday March 30:
GPS Solutions displacement movies
New on Tuesday March 29:
UNAVCO color displacement map
ARIA ERS2 interferogram
New on Monday March 28:
TRE Envisat interferogram
New on Sunday March 27:
ARIA Envisat interferogram
New on Saturday March 26:
INGV Envisat interferogram
New on Friday March 25:
INGV preliminary moment model
New on Wednesday March 23:
INGV source model
EPS call for papers
Leeds PALSAR interferogram
TerraSAR-X data
New on Tuesday March 22:
SERTIT Spot-5 damage maps
GAP Envisat interferograms
New on Monday March 21:
UCSD radar amplitude
Florida groundwater waveforms
New on Sunday March 20:
DPRI USGS stress transfer model
New on Saturday March 19:
COSMO-SkyMed interferograms
New on Friday March 18:
ARIA PALSAR interferogram
ARIA GPS slip model
USGS GPS slip model
First postseismic ERS2
Geoazur GPS/seismic comparison
New on Thursday March 17:
MSS floating objects
GPS Solutions Tokyo buoy
Radarsat damage maps
New on Wednesday March 16:
ALOS Palsar data
GFZ tsunami model
Kyoto PALSAR interferogram
Tohoku kinematic GPS
JAXA Palsar interferogram
TerraSAR-X displacements near Sendai
New on Tuesday March 15:
University of Alaska kinematic GPS
GPS Solutions 7 GEONET waveforms
GFZ source model
Caltech source model
IPGP web link
PANDA GPS waveforms
DLR Chofu GPS data
New on Monday March 14:
Harvard Interplate Coupling
Penn State historic seismicity
    and source model

Satake tsunami animation
DLR damage maps
Tsukuba slip model
New on Sunday March 13:
PANGA page link
Tohoku-oki Envisat index
new aftershock plot
Nagoya slip model
CRTN waveforms
New on Saturday March 12:
JPL post and co-seismic GPS
ALOS tasking maps
New Brunswick GPS waveforms
MODIS flooding image
IRD interplate coupling
VADASE GPS waveforms
New on Friday March 11:
ERI focal mechanism and aftershocks
USGS source slip model
Envisat archive order
GEONET coseismic GPS
Jules Verne aftershock map
USGS shake map
Envisat most recent Jul 10 2011
ERS most recent Jul 1 2011
ALOS most recent Apr 18 2011
TerraSAR-X most recent Jun 19 2011
Spot available from spotimage
Radarsat-2 No data available
Cosmo No data available
Short-period IRIS Tohoku-oki Station Map
Long-period No data available
Broad-band No data available
Continuous GPS
Strainmeter No data available
Tilt No data available
Gas No data available
gravity No data available
High-res No data available
Lidar No data available

Earthquake, Friday, March 11, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC, 38.322° N, 142.369° E 24.4 km depth Magnitude 8.9 (USGS)

Topic links SAR           Focal Mechanism           GPS           Ground Motion           Source Slip           Seismicity           Visible           Links          

If you have data or results that you would like to post on this webpage, please e-mail Falk Amelung, the Task Leader of GEO's Supersite initiative ( or Susanna Gross ( For up-date-information about new satellite imagery acquired and analysis of the seismic data please visit the Japanese Space Exploration Agency and the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo (ERI).

SAR Data

    Envisat SAR scenes to match the first two tasked tracks have been ordered.

    Envisat: ESA is tasking track 74 frames 2763-2889, tracks 139, 182, 189, track 347 frames 2763-2907, and track 412 frames 681-734.
    We would like to expand the tasking plan to include track 297 frames 721-795.

    ERS: Postseismic ERS2 data will be available with the new 3 day orbital repeat phase, but ERS-2 data have to be repatriated to ESA and will have delayed availability.
    Angela Hung of CSRSR National Central University, Taiwan and Michael Caruso of CSTARS made a special project of getting our postseismic ERS2 delivered as quickly as possible.

    ERS-2 precise orbit files: Daily ERS-2 precise orbit files based on Laser Range data (PDS) can be retrieved from the anonymous FTP server under the directory japan_ers2. This directory contains daily ERS-2 PDS files which are two days long. The generation of a new PDS file will happen each day at 09:00 UTC were the latest day that will be available will be two days in the past. On each day the last 5 days of PDS orbits will be updated to take into account SLR data that can arrive with a delay of more then two days.

    ESA SAR Data can be downloaded from a index or from ESA's Earth Watching web site. The ESA download server was originally used for Haiti, and it requires no username or password.

    ALOS PALSAR: JAXA has kindly made ALOS PALSAR Data available without a password direct from the supersites server from the ALOS directory

    Desired ALOS PALSAR scenes:
    Ascending Data:
    Path Frames
    400 790-800
    401 760-800
    402 760-800
    403 730-800
    404 700-770
    405 690-750
    406 700-740
    Descending Data:
    Path Frames
    56 2800-2900
    57 2790-2910
    58 2800-2900
    59 2790-2910

    It would be ideal if ALOS ScanSAR Tracks: 61-62-63 Frames: 2800 and 2850 could also be acquired.

    The first ALOS-1 PALSAR acquisition over Japan after the earthquake, on ascending path 409, is in a beam mode not suitable for InSAR because the radar look angle is 46.6 degrees. It does cover the area of Sendai. This map from the JAXA AUIG catalog search shows the coverage. It says the acquisition time was at 13:12 on 2011/03/13, but does not explain the time zone used. The AUIG catalog also shows two paths in the Observation Plan, ascending paths 401 on 3/15 and 404 on 3/20. These are planned for the standard look angle of 34.3 degrees that should allow InSAR analysis. It does not show yet the ScanSAR that may be acquired earlier on a descending track. This map shows the planned paths.

    SAR Data can be downloaded from a ESA SAR data index


    DLR and Astrium GEO-Information Services support research on the Sendai Earthquake event on 2011-03-11 in a joint action by providing data of the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X. TerraSAR-X will acquire co-seismic data and a post-seismic time series of 3 months duration, covering the area around Sendai in ascending (orbit 156, strip 9, incidence 35°) and descending (orbit 42, strip 10, incidence 37°) orbits in stripmap mode. The data will be made available free of charge via the GEO Supersites mechanism. First datasets are now accessible and additional datasets will be uploaded regularly every 11 days throughout the months of April, May and June. Additional data of this area can be accessed via DLR's science service system for scientific purposes and via the Astrium GEO-Information Services TerraSAR-X Services for commercial purposes.

    Radarsat-2 and Cosmo-Skymed: At this time these sensors are not available for scientific use by the Supersites community.

SAR Results

    SAR co-seismic

    Masanobu Shimada of JAXA contributed the first SAR interferogram, using PALSAR, showing the coast just north of the epicenter. An English translation of their website is linked to the thumbnail above. Follow this link for the original Japanese.

    Manabu Hashimoto, Yo Fukushima and Youichiro Takada of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University prepared the PALSAR interferogram above. Please follow this link for more information.

    Interferometric phase by the ARIA team at JPL and Caltech. Produced from ALOS PALSAR data (ascending path 401) spanning 2010/10/28 - 2011/03/15. One color cycle represents 11.8 cm of range change. You can also download the KMZ file.

    Azimuth (~N170 heading, horizontal) co-seismic ground displacement associated with the 2011 Sendai Earthquake, calculated from Multiple Aperture InSAR (Bechor and Zebker 2006; Jung et al., 2009) using the ALOS PALSAR dataset. The data shows up to 1.5 m of displacement, consistent with GPS measurements; some area of decorrelation can be observed as well as processing artefact (azimuth strikes) likely related to the different polarisation between the two granules used. The kmz file can be downloaded here (Jeong-Won Park, U. of Leeds)"

    Marco Chini and Christian Bignami have processed three strips composed of 13 (track 347, descending orbit), 8 (track 074) and 6 (track 189) Envisat frames over Honshu island (the result is in the framework of "Tohoku-oki INGV Team", lead by Salvatore Stramondo). The interferogram covers the whole Honshu island and the epicentral region and a large coastal area. The whole strips have been unwrapped to measure the Line Of Sight surface movement. The maximum displacement reaches about 2.5 m relative to a reference point within the entire frames located nearby the southern boundary. They provided a map overview of the interferogram, as well as detailed views of Fukushima , Chiba and Sendai.

    Envisat ASAR coseismic interferogram from descending track 189 (west), 347 (middle), and 74 (east) processed by JPL/Caltech ARIA project using ROI_PAC. Time spans of the interferometric pairs are 2011/03/10 - 2011/04/09 (west), 2011/02/19 - 2011/03/21 (middle), and 2011/03/02 - 2011/04/01 (east), respectively. One color cycle represents 50 cm of motion in the radar line of sight (approximately west at 41 degrees from the vertical). ESA VOR orbits were used for pre-quake scenes and POR orbits for post-quake scenes. The seismicity plot is from USGS Lastest Earthquakes. KMZ file

    Thanks to data available from the GEO Geohazards Supersite initiative, TRE has been able to perform an analysis to extract ground displacement over the area affected by the Japanese earthquake occurring on 11th March 2011. Using ENVISAT S6 data, descending track 347, a co-seismic interferogram was produced using two radar satellite images from 16th February and 21th March. The processed area is approximately 650x75 sqkm. Each visible fringe (a complete colour cycle ranging from red, through the colour spectrum, back to red again) refers to ground movement on the order of 2.8cm in the satellite line of sight (LOS). For more information, please see their website.

    Michele Crosetto sent this coseismic deformation field, estimated from Envisat ASAR data from the descending track 347, processed by the Institute of Geomatics. The coseismic estimate was derived using the data coming from three frames, acquired on 19 February 2011 and 21 March 2011. The maximum relative deformation over the covered area is 1.69 m. It is worth emphasising that this is not an absolute deformation estimate. The minimum distance from the study area to the epicentre is about 100 km. The background image comes from Google Earth. It is worth noting that in the low coherence areas, characterized by a low density of observations, this solution might suffer local aliasing errors.

    Guangcai Feng, Mi Jiang, Lei Zhang and Chisheng Wang (InSAR group lead by Prof. Xiaoli Ding, LSGI/PolyU , The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) have processed two Envisat strips and two PALSAR strips covered east of Japan. The coseismic interferogram of 2011 Tohoku earthquake presented have been corrected by GPS measurements provided by the ARIA team at JPL and Caltech (V0.3).

    PALSAR coseismic interferogram from descending track 56 was processed by Jin Woo Kim, the Ohio State University under Dr. C. K. Shum with the aid of Dr. Zhong Lu in the USGS. Data are acquired on 20 November 2010 and 7 April 2011, and each color cycle represents 11.8 cm of motion in the line-of-sight direction.

    ALOS PALSAR differential interferogram 28102010-15032011 (Bp =1459,9 m and dt =138 days) of the Tohoku-oki M9.0 (USGS NEIC) earthquake. No baseline refinement was applied due to displacement gradients over the entire scene. Residual orbital phases might be included. Displacement up to -3.46 m along the line-of-sight was obtained relative to the selected reference (square). This was contributed by Issaak Parcharidis of the Earth Observation Team at Harokopio University, Greece.

    Davide Oscar Nitti of Geophysical Applications Processing in Bari, Italy prepared several interferograms from Envisat track 347. For the complete set of interferograms, please see their website .

    Displacements around Sendai estimated from TerraSAR-X Data using Correlation Techniques The arrows in the image show the ground displacements caused by the devastating M9.0 earthquake near Sendai on the 11th of March 2011. The background image is coloured using amplitude differences of the two acquisitions and clearly shows the extent of damages caused by the earthquake and the following tsunami-wave. The image was generated from two TerraSAR-X images acquired on 20.10.2010 and 12.03.2011. Applying correlation techniques, the displacement-map could be derived. Unit-Vectors at the bottom right of the image represent 1.46 m in ground range (approx. east-west) and 2.0 m in azimuth (approx. north-south) direction. Under the assumption of purely horizontal displacement of the land mass, a value of up to 3 m can be observed. The amplitude and directions of the displacements agree with values achieved by various groups evaluating data from permanent GPS-stations This image was generated by: Nestor Yague-Martinez, Christian Minet, Wael Abdel-Jaber, and Michael Eineder

    ALOS PALSAR interferogram subset from descending track 56 processed by JPL/Caltech ARIA project using ROI_PAC. Time spans of the interferometric pair is 2010/11/20 - 2011/04/07. Best-fit quadratic surface was estimated and removed from this interferogram subset. This removes most of the signal from the M9.0 main shock and the M7.9 aftershock on 2011/03/11 and also orbit errors. The remaining deformation is largely caused by shallow aftershocks, including two M5.3-6.1 aftershocks on 2011/03/19 (south blob) and four M5.8-6.0 aftershocks on 2011/03/23 (north blob). One color cycle represents 11.8 cm of motion in the radar line of sight (approximately west at 38 degrees from the vertical). Preliminary orbits were used. KMZ file

    ALOS PALSAR interferogram subset from ascending track 403 processed by JPL/Caltech ARIA project using ROI_PAC. Time spans of the interferometric pair is 2011/03/03 - 2011/04/18. Best-fit quadratic phase was estimated and removed from this interferogram subset. This removes most of the signal from the M9.0 main shock and the M7.9 aftershock on 2011/03/11 and also orbit errors. The remaining deformation is largely caused by series of shallow aftershocks of M5.3 - 6.1 and M6.6 on 2011/04/11. One color cycle represents 11.8 cm of motion in the radar line of sight (approximately east at 38 degrees from the vertical). Preliminary orbits were used. Please also see the the KMZ file.

    SAR post-seismic

    ERS-2 post-seismic interferogram from ascending track 24, processed by JPL/Caltech ARIA project using ROI_PAC. Data acquired on 21 March 2011 and 27 March 2011. One color cycle represents 2.8 cm of motion in the radar line of sight. Precise PDS orbits from ESA based on Laser Range data were used for processing. The observed phase includes the combined contributions from tropospheric differential phase delay variation and post-seismic deformation. KMZ file

    Sven Borgstrom and Valeria Siniscalchi have processed three ERS2 interferograms (ascending track 24, InSAR pairs 02.04.2011-05.04.2011 , 02.04.2011-08.04.2011, and 08.04.2011-11.04.2011 above) using ROI_PAC in the framework of the "Tohoku-oki INGV Team", lead by Salvatore Stramondo. Precise PDS orbits from ESA were used for data processing, with help from Eric Fielding and Piyush Shanker Agram of JPL/Caltech. The authors decided to focus their attention on the period of the 7.4M EQ of April 7: apparently no clear deformation signals were pointed out in the coseismic interferogram (02.04.2011-08.04.2011), probably masked by the atmospheric contribution.

    Sven Borgstrom and Valeria Siniscalchi have processed three more ERS2 interferograms from the ascending track 24 ( 26.4.2011-29.4.2011, 29.4.2011-2.5.2011 and 5.5.2011-8.5.2011, shown above) using ROI_PAC and precise PDS orbits from ESA in the framework of the "Tohoku-oki INGV Team", lead by Salvatore Stramondo. The three days ERS2 revisiting time means a chance to get almost continuous monitoring, besides the possibility of extracting the co-seismic deformation field with the post-seismic deformation filtered out.

    Simona Zoffoli contributed these COSMO-SkyMed co-seismic and post-seismic interferograms of the Tohoku Earthquake obtained by Italian Space Agency in the framework of the SIGRIS system. SIGRIS was developed under funding from the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and is operated by INGV. The coordinator is Dr. Stefano Salvi. Shortly after the quake the Opera and SIGRIS teams coordinated with ASI to program new COSMO acquisitions over the area, for damage assessment and ground deformation mapping. The first acquisitions (March 12-13) were aimed at damage/flood mapping, and no co-seismic interferometric data were acquired. First co-seismic interferometric data sets were acquired on March 14 CSK_co-sis_interf.jpg, and have been used by the INGV team to produce the results summarized below. Unfortunately the most recent pre-event acquisitions dated July 2010. This causes strong temporal decorrelation in the interferograms The COSMO-SkyMed interferograms are for the most part decorrelated, due to the 8 months temporal separation of the images. Where coherence is maintained deformation fringes can be seen, as shown in Fukushima.jpg and csk_917_sud.jpg. Each colour fringe represents a permanent co-seismic ground displacement of 1.5 cm along the satellite line of sight. The fault dislocation causing the magnitude 9 earthquake generated a large permanent deformation of the ground in an area of several thousands of square kilometers in Northern Japan. The one-day post-seismic interferogram csk_post_13-14.jpg of the Sendai area is affected by high spatial frequency atmospheric artifacts, but limited post-seismic deformation (~1 cm) can be appreciated in the low frequencies. We are programming new, high frequency COSMO-SkyMed acquisitions over most of the area, and expect to be able to map post-seismic deformation with great detail in the following months. We expect that COSMO-SkyMed data will be also very useful for local deformation monitoring, for instance on seismically triggered gravitational deformations.

    Issaak Parcharidis and Micheal Foumelis of Harokopio University of Athens contributed the TerraSAR-X interferogram above, showing post-seismic deformation.

    Co-seismic interferogram calculated using COSMO-SkyMed images of May 22, 2010 and March 14, 2011. Perpendicular baseline ~65 m. Image location in inset. Processing by Cristiano Tolomei. Please see their report (in PDF format) for more interferograms, displacement maps and error maps.

Focal Mechanism

GPS Data

    Thomas Dautermann of DLR sent four hours of 20 Hz GPS data, from the Chofu site (Hatanaka compressed and zipped) for the community.
    Co-seismic displacement from GPS by GEONET, reference provided by Prof. Hashimoto

    Mohamed Chlieh of the IRD - Geoazur has prepared a preliminary pre-seismic interplate coupling
    inversion from 224 pre-seismic GPS measurements of the Japanese Network (period 2001-2011). The
    GPS measurements are plotted relative to the Amurian Plate. The fault geometry was taken to be
    consistent with USGS Fault solution and Harvard CMT. Dashed line may indicate the seismic source.

    Interseismic coupling distribution based on GEONET GPS data from 1996-2000 and estimated using a three-dimensional block model of the combined offshore/onshore fault network (Loveless and Meade, JGR, 2010) . Coupling is estimated on a mesh of triangular dislocation elements based on the three-dimensional slab geometry of Furuse and Kono (2003). Overlain on the coupling contours is the finite fault slip distribution (250 cm slip contours) from Gavin Hayes.

    Ascii file with GPS vectors If you use these vectors, please give the following credit: "Preliminary GPS displacement data (version 0.1) provided by the ARIA team at JPL and Caltech. All Original GEONET RINEX data provided to Caltech by the Geospatial Information Authority (GSI) of Japan."

    Yusaku Ohta in Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan calculated the AOBL (2Hz sampling) coordinate by kinematic analysis relative to USUD (IGS) using RTKLIB Ver. 2.4.0. (Takasu et al. 2010). The sample interval is 1Hz because of USUD is recording 1Hz data. This baseline analysis includes base station USUD displacement by seismic wave, but still shows a clear coseismic displacement mainly EW component.

    Computation of the GPS displacement waveforms applying VADASE methodology to the IGS high-rate data (1 Hz)
    recorded at MIZU (140 Km from earthquake) by Mara Branzanti, Gabriele Colosimo, Mattia Crespi, Augusto Mazzoni
    -- VADASE Team Universita' di Roma "La Sapienza" Area di Geodesia e Geomatica
    MIZU.pdf      USUD.pdf      See also a similar plot for DLR GPS station JA01. station map      comparison with observations

    Simon Banville, a Ph.D. student working with Prof. Richard Langley at the University of New Brunswick, has analyzed the high-rate 1-Hz data from two stations of the International GNSS Service affected by the Tohoku-oki earthquake: MIZU at Mizusawa and USUD at the Usuda Deep Space Tracking Station. His analysis approach uses PPP or precise point positioning, a technique that requires meticulous modeling of all of the phenomena affecting GPS measurements to reveal station displacements with precisions approaching a few centimetres. Inputs include high-precision satellite orbits and clocks, which, in this case, were provided in the form of the "ultra-rapid products" generated at Natural Resources Canada and graciously provided by Yves Mireault. The displacements shown in the plots in terms of latitude, east longitude, and height are with respect to the station coordinates before the occurrence of the earthquake. Also see a similar plot for station USUD

    The MIZU ground motion plots show the station moving 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) ESE in the first minute of shaking, and then recovering back to a final position 2.3 meters (7.6 feet) ESE from the pre-earthquake location, during the following two minutes. As late as 2 minutes after the first shock, waves with an amplitude of almost 0.25 meter (9 inches) and a period of 5-10 seconds can be seen.

    Rongxin Fang of Wuhan University sent GPS waveforms computed with PANDA software which was also used in processing GPS data after the WenChuan earthquake. The station MIZU displacement is shown above. Also see a similar plot for station USUD Two movies, showing MIZU and USUD were made with PANDA software. GPS seismic waves results by Prof. Chuang Shi and his group members, Rongxin Fang , Kejie Chen, Min Li and Weiwei Song. PANDA(Positioning And Navigation Data Analyst) software package is developed at GNSS Research Center of Wuhan University including two main modules, that is Precise Orbit Determination(POD) and Precise Point Positioning(PPP). Firstly, we use its POD module to obtain the high precision satellite orbits and clocks, then the PPP module is used to process 1Hz GPS data to obtain GPS seismic waves.

    James Johnson, Chris Rocken and Ted Iwabuchi of GPS Solutions have processed 7 1Hz GEONET stations using PPP and presented their waveforms on their web page. 5 meters of offset are shown on station 0171 on the their second page.

    Ronni Grapenthin of the University of Alaska has computed kinematic solutions for 7 stations with Gipsy and presented waveforms on this web page.

    James Johnson of GPS Solutions processed data from the Hiratsuka buoy off the coast near Tokyo. A one-meter tsunami first arrives at the Hiratsuka buoy at about 6:35 UTC. It is interesting to note the change in buoy motion at about 5:50 UTC (most visible in the 11-sec running average) which appears to coincide with the arrival of seismic waves. The shown PPP solution was post processed with the real-time global orbit and clock product from the VERIPOS/APEX service. For maps and further details, including true realtime solutions for stations further from the epicenter, see the GPS Solutions Tohoku-oki web pages.

    The animation above shows coordinate variations every 1 sec. relative to the pre-earthquake a priori coordinates. The color scale is fixed for the entire event, but north, east, height components are scaled individually. The deformation is sped up by a factor of 24, showing 24 seconds of motion every second of movie time. For more movies and additional information, please see GPS Solutions web site. 1Hz GEONET data provided by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) via Nippon GPS Data Services Company (NGDS), were post-processed in real-time mode with realtime orbits and clock corrections from the VERIPOS/APEX global service. GPS Solutions' RTNet software was used for the PPP analysis and is also used for APEX service.

    Comparison between high-frequency GPS and accelerometric signals in the Tokyo area. The GPS station JAE1 (Thomas Dautermann, DLR, supersites) is located 4km away from the Knet accelerometric station TKY006. GPS signal has been processed by J.M. Nocquet (Geoazur, Nice, France) to obtain ground displacement. The figure shows the comparison between this GPS signal - twice differentiated - and the accelerometric signal, in the [0.005Hz - 0.125Hz] range. Part of the slight differences can be imputed to the small location differences. This observation confirms that both types of data will be useful to better describe the source process of the 2011 Japan earthquake. (authors J.M Nocquet & M. Vallée, Geoazur, Nice, France)

    Final ground displacement after the 11 March 2011 earthquake in Japan, in meters, with contours, and colored by value, from the GSI GPS data set provided by the ARIA team at JPL and Caltech. Computations and display were done at UNAVCO. For details please see this report (in PDF).

    Ground Motion

      Stacked real-time 1 Hz displacement waveforms for more than 100 CRTN stations in the southern California region from Yehuda Bock, Brendan Crowell and Diego Melgar of Scripps Orbit and Permanent Array Center. They show the S-wave at about 1400 seconds and the Love wave at about 2000 seconds after the onset of the M=9.0 Honshu earthquake.

      PDF with contact information This is a random sampling of groundwater gauges in South Florida, all showing tremors after the disaster in Japan. (Click on the image for a larger version.) The anomalies began 34 minutes after the earthquake and lasted almost two hours.

    Mainshock Slip Distribution

      Takeo Ito, Kazuhiro Ozawa, Tsuyoshi Watanabe and Takeshi Sagiya of Nagoya University have inverted for the slip distribution on a curved plate interface using coseismic GPS vectors from the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. The above plot shows the slip distribution, which extends about 400km N-S and reaches a maximum of about 10 meters. For more details, please see their PDF document.

      Yagi Yuuzi and Naoki Nishimura of Tsukuba university have created a source model by fitting seismic waveforms. For more information please see their web page (in Japanese) or the English translation.

      Fault slip model projected onto the surface with topography and aftershocks. Waveform modelling by Gavin Hayes of the
      USGS. Yellow circles are foreshocks.

      Fault slip model projected onto the surface with plate boundaries and aftershocks. GPS and Waveform modelling by
      Shengji Wei (Caltech), Anthony Sladen (Geoazur) and the ARIA group (Caltech-JPL). Lingsen Meng and Jean-Paul Ampuero (Caltech) have prepared movies of the rupture propagation.

      Fault slip model projected onto the surface inverted from GPS data by Rongjiang Wang of the GFZ. To see the modeled GPS vectors, click on the thumbnail image above.

      Fault slip model projected onto the surface inverted from GPS data by Andreas Hoechner, Andrey Babeyko and Stephan Sobolev of the GFZ. To see the modeled GPS vectors, click on the image above.

      Slip distribution of the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku-chiho Taiheiyo-oki Earthquake. Arrows indicate the motion of the upper plate. GPS modeling by Fred Pollitz.

      A preliminary highly smoothed model of coseismic slip for the March 11 main shock. Red and yellow vectors show horizontal (left) and vertical (right) predicted and observed displacements respectively. The triangulated model geometry follows the megathrust as close as possible. The model is derived with a least squares inversion using Laplacian damping, with strike slip components damped more heavily than down dip components. Damping parameters were chosen by sense of smell. The model is constrained by both GPS displacements and 12 open ocean DART buoy tsunami records distributed around the Pacific. The model has a moment magnitude of 9.0, although this is somewhat arbitrary given our ignorance of the elastic structure. GPS offsets are derived from 5 minute epoch time series processed by the ARIA team at JPL and Caltech. Displacements due to the Mw 7.9 aftershock have been isolated and removed. This model was generated by M. Simons, F. Ortega, J. Jiang, A. Sladen, and S. Minson at Caltech as part of the ARIA project. All orginal GEONET RINEX data provided to Caltech by the Geospatial Information Authority (GSI) of Japan.

      Preliminary model of coseismic slip of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The fault model has variable dip and strike. We sample the cross-section of the subduction zone geometry analysis carried out by Gavin Hayes The fault plane is divided into 240 subfaults of 25x25 km. We use the sea-level recordings at 7 deep-sea Bottom Pressure Gauges in open sea (DART) provided by NOAA . We use GPS data processed at INGV Rome using JPL's GIPSY-OASIS software, the kinematic precise point positioning strategy and JPL's Rapid orbit and clock products. The coseismic displacements are calculated as a simple difference of the position estimates averaged 15 minutes before and after the main shock excluding the first 5 minutes during the most intense ground shaking. All original GEONET RINEX data provided by the Geospatial Information Authority (GSI) of Japan. The inversion method is based on a global search technique. We add smoothing and seismic-moment-minimization constraints to the slip distribution. The rupture front is assumed to be circular and propagating at constant speed, fixed at 1.0 km/s, which however needs to be further investigated. This model was generated by F. Romano, A. Piatanesi, S. Lorito, and N. D'Agostino at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia in Rome (Italy). Tsunami modeling performed with COMCOT at CASPUR HPC Center in Rome (Italy).

      Preliminary inversion of seismic moment release along the 2011 Japan earthquake source. Distribution of seismic moment release along the modeled source . Total seismic moment release is 3.95e22 Nm, corresponding to Mw = 9.03. This model naturally implements the seismic source in terms of seismic moment, so that the moment magnitude estimate is not biased by slip-moment conversions. Daniele Melini member of the "Tohoku-oki INGV Team" (lead by Salvatore Stramondo) obtained a preliminary model of seismic moment release of the March 11, 2011 Japan earthquake by modeling GPS displacements with a spherical self-gravitating deformation model (Melini et al., GJI 2008). The model assumes a PREM rheological layering. The fault plane geometry is fixed to USGS seismological estimates. Preliminary GPS time series are provided by the ARIA team at JPL and Caltech.  All original GEONET RINEX data provided to Caltech by the Geospatial Information Authority (GSI) of Japan.

    Stress Change and Earthquake Hazard

      Shinji Toda (DPRI, Kyoto Univ.), Ross Stein (USGS) and Volkan Sevilgen (USGS) have computed stress changes on faults throughout Japan due to the Tohoku mainshock. Faults brought closer to failure are shaded red on the above plot. For higher resolution images and many other plots, please see their pdf. The same work is presented on Shinji Toda's web page (in Japanese). English translation


      This animated gif, which plays when you click on the image above, comes from the Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Prof. Takashi Furumura and Project Researcher Takuto Maeda.

      Researchers at the GFZ have made a model of the maximum amplitude and arrival time of the tsunami using their own source model.


      Aftershocks from IRIS earthquake browser plotted with IDV, background seismicity in blue.

      Charles Ammon of Penn State University plotted major historic seismicity with aftershocks and the mainshock (largest red circle). He also has a source slip model and several movies on his website.

      Aftershocks drawn with Jules Verne Voyager.

      Stuart Wier made a 6MB animated gif, 3D view of the aftershocks using the IDV visualization software.
      The colored points are the main shock and 350 aftershocks observed in the first 60 hours after the mainshock.
      These are colored and sized by magnitude. The orange dot is the mainshock. The blue dots are all located
      earthquakes in the region over magnitude 5, before 1 March 2011; more than 3000 earthquakes. All data is from
      the IRIS Earthquake Browser.

    Visible and SAR damage mapping

      Arii Motofumi of Mitsubishi Space Software detected floating objects in PALSAR images taken March 13. He provided images from frame 740 and frame 720 and spreadsheets that list coordinates and size estimates for frame 720 and frame 740 .

      DLR has created many detailed maps of the tsunami damage. Please see their Tohoku-oki page

      In the frame of Japan's disaster Astrium GEO Information Services (Spot Image) made SPOT and FORMOSAT-2 Satellite Imagery over Japan available to the scientific community. The data is available for download from the Spot Image website

      The low resolution data from MODIS on the Terra satellite has captured an excellent image of the flooding
      The area of flooding is so large it is many pixels for MODIS, which has at best 250 m resolution.

      GeoEye before and after photos

      EOAU and Hatfield Consultants have made damage maps using Radarsat-2 data. The small thumbnail above is linked to a much larger image showing tsunami damage in Miyagi Prefecture. They created a similar map for Iwati Prefecture, and also offer lower resolution versions of the Miyagi and the Iwati maps. The Canadians have also given us the original images upon which the Sendai map was based, before and after the earthquake and tsunami.

      Rapid mapping of Earthquake and Tsunami damage for the International Charter of Space and major disasters

      Paul De Fraipont of SERTIT has contributed damage maps made from two Spot-5 images tracks acquired over the East coast of Japan in support of the International Charter. These maps were processed and analysed by SERTIT rapid mapping service team. Maps were uploaded into SERTIT server, respectively on Sunday 13th early in the morning for 200 km of coast around Sendai, and Tuesday 15th of March 2011 for global damage map over the North-East Honshu 200 km of coast. The East Honshu coast map is linked to the thumbnail image above. There is an updated version made Monday the 14th available on the SERTIT web server.

      Radar amplitude images of the coastline affected by the earthquake and tsunami near the town of Sendai. Data were acquired by the ALOS satellite of the Japanese Space Agency (ScanSAR mode, descending orbit 60, Jan 21, 2009 - Mar 14, 2011). Changes in the radar backscatter outline areas affected by inundation and earthquake damage. Unfortunately, the orbital baseline is too large for interferometry. Contributed by Yuri Fialko, SIO/UCSD.

      Urs Wegmüller, Charles Werner, and Maurizio Santoro , all of Gamma Remote Sensing AG, CH-3073 Gümligen, Switzerland made maps of damage based upon the coherence loss observed in Envisat InSAR analysis of track 347. Coherence loss between a comparable pre-seismic pair (20101121_20110219, -23m, 90days) and a co-seismic pair (20110219 20110321, 306m, 30days). For 30 day and longer interval pairs over this site the coherence is mainly high (> 0.5) for urban area. Damage from the earthquake and the tsunami cause decorrelation in the co-seismic pair. In severely damaged urban areas the coherence reduces from a high coherence (> 0.5) in the pre-seismic pair to a low value which results in large coherence loss values (> 0.3). Damage over vegetated areas is not well recognized in the coherence loss between the coherence is already low in the pre-seismic pair. To display the coherence loss a color scale between 0.1 (green) and 0.5 red) is used. The image brightness is the backscattering of 20110219. Red color is a clear indication of damage in urban areas. For more details please see their report (in PDF format) and their RGB kmz file and their coherence loss kmz file.

      TerraSAR-X damage map between 2010.10.20 and 2011.03.12. ASTER 1-arcsec GDEM (product of METI and NASA) was used for geocoding. Red (2010.10.20, before earthquake), Green (2011.03.12, after earthquake), and Blue (Difference of backscattering coefficient of two TerraSAR-X images). Purple-colored area is inundated by Tsunami. Please also see another version of this image with inudated areas shown in red, and a similar map made from Palsar ScanSAR data, and and a detailed view of the area around Sendai both with and without inundated areas shown in red, by thresholding the difference of backscattering coefficient between two dates. This work was done by Jin Woo Kim under prof. C. K. Shum at the Ohio State University with the aid of Dr. Zhong Lu in the USGS.

      Alessandro Piscini, Stefania Amici and Malvina Silvestri completed the analysis of inundated areas (in blue) along the coast of Honshu (the result is in the framework of "Tohoku-oki INGV Team", lead by Salvatore Stramondo). Unsupervised and supervised algorithms have been applied for soil classification using ASTER and EO1-Hyperion satellite images in the visible spectral range. (a) pre-tsunami ASTER( 15m/pixel); (b) March 13 2011 map from EO1-Hyperion data( 30m/pixel); (c) and (d) March 14 and 19 2011 map from ASTER. (for ASTER images we thank Dave Pieri from JPL and Maria Fabrizia Buongiorno from INGV)

      Overview map of tsunami inundation extent of the northeast coast of Honshu derived from MODIS Aqua images (250-m spatial resolution) acquired on February 23, 2011 and March 13, 2011. Produced by the E-DECIDER team under the International Charter and contributed by Margaret Glasscoe, JPL. Please see this zipfile for several more maps.

      Stefania Amici has processed EO1-Hyperion data and ASTER to identify combusting area (the result is in the framework of "Tohoku-oki INGV Team", lead by Salvatore Stramondo). SWIR color composite RGB indicate three different combusting area ( 1, 2, 3). The ASTER TIR data acquired on March 2011 has been used to validate data: two strong active combustion features on ASTER image (3b) are present on the EO1-Hyperion day after image (3a). (ASTER TIR image, courtesy D.Pieri, JPL).









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