Targeted High-Resolution Structure From Motion Observations Over the ( M_W ) 6.4 and 7.1 Ruptures of the Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence

Andrea Donnellan, Gregory A. Lyzenga, Adnan Ansar, Christine A Goulet, Jun Wang, and Marlon Pierce

Seismological Research Letters (2020)


We carried out six targeted structure from motion surveys using small uninhabited aerial systems over the ( M_w ) 6.4 and 7.1 ruptures of the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence in the first three months after the events. The surveys cover approximately 500 ( times ) 500 m areas just south of Highway 178 with an average ground sample distance of 1.5 cm. The first survey took place five days after the ( M_w ) 6.4 foreshock on 9 July 2019. The final survey took place on 27 September 2019. The time between surveys increased over time, with the first five surveys taking place in the first month after the earthquake. Comparison of imagery from before and after the ( M_w ) 7.1 earthquake shows variation in slip on the main rupture and a small amount of distributed slip across the scene. Cracks can be observed and mapped in the high-resolution imagery, which show en echelon cracking, fault splays, and a northeast-striking conjugate fault at the ( M_w ) 7.1 rupture south of Highway 178 and near the dirt road. Initial postseismic results show little fault afterslip, but possible subsidence in the first 7–10 days after the earthquake, followed by uplift.