The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-2/W7
13 Sep 2017
 | 13 Sep 2017


Z. Jing, F. Bihong, S. Pilong, and G. Qiang

Keywords: Crustal Deformation, InSAR, Postseismic, Mongolia, Viscoelastic Relaxation, Seismic Cycle

Abstract. The western Mongolia is a seismically active intracontinental region, with ongoing tectonic deformation and widespread seismicity related to the far-field effects of India-Eurasia collision. During the 20th century, four earthquakes with the magnitude larger than 8 occurred in the western Mongolia and its surrounding regions, providing a unique opportunity to study the geodynamics of intracontinental tectonic deformations. The 1957 magnitude 8.3 Gobi-Altai earthquake is one of the largest seismic events. The deformation pattern of rupture zone associated with this earthquake is complex, involving left-lateral strike-slip and reverse dip-slip faulting on several distinct geological structures in a 264 × 40 km wide zone. To understand the relationship between the observed postseismic surface deformation and the rheological structure of the upper lithosphere, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data are used to study the 1957 earthquake. Then we developed a postseismic model in a spherical, radially layered elastic-viscoelastic Earth based on InSAR results, and further analysed the dominant contribution to the surface deformation. This work is important for understanding not only the regional tectonics, but also the structure and dynamics of the lithosphere.

SAR data were acquired from the ERS1/2 and Envisat from 1996 to 2010. Using the Repeat Orbit Interferometry Package (ROI_PAC), 124 postseismic interferograms are produced on four adjacent tracks. By stacking these interferograms, the maximum InSAR line-of-sight deformation rate along the Gobi-Altai fault zone is obtained. The main results are as follows: (1) The maximum InSAR line-of-sight deformation velocity along this large fault zone is about 6 mm/yr; (2) The modelled surface deformation suggests that the viscoelastic relaxation is the most reasonable mechanism to explain the observed surface motion; (3) The optimal model cover the Gobi-Altai seismogenic thickness is 10 km; (4) The lower bound of Maxwell viscosity of lower crust and upper mantle is approximately 9 × 1019 Pa s, and the Maxwell relaxation time corresponding to this viscosity is 95.13 years.