Integration of coseismic deformation into WebGIS for near real-time disaster evaluation and emergency response

Rui Zhao, Xintao Liu, Wenbin Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Earthquakes are one of the destructive natural disasters. Immediate emergency response in the first few hours is important for life rescue. The near real-time ground deformation maps generated after earthquakes are crucial for hazard assessments, which normally take a couple of hours or longer to be generated using conventional ways. In this study, we propose a near real-time coseismic ground deformation map generation system with the aim of assisting rapid seismic hazard evaluations and emergency responses. This framework adopts the source parameters published by seismological agencies and uses the empirical equations to generate the near real-time coseismic ground deformation maps. The source parameters of an earthquake, such as the focal mechanism, are programmatically accessed from the United States Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center (USGS-NEIC) in a nearly real-time manner. The ground deformation estimated using empirical equations is integrated as self-adapting spatial data fusion and visualized on an interactive WebGIS platform. We develop the WebGIS platform, namely QuickDeform at, and successfully applied the system to several recent large magnitude earthquakes. We find that the proposed framework functions robustly and proficiently to automatically generate the seismic deformation map within several minutes after the occurrence of an earthquake. The generated deformation map shows good agreement when compared to the data from real earthquakes. QuickDeform can be used as a volunteered geographic information platform for crowdsourcing disaster data for rescue and model validation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number414
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Coseismic deformation
  • Earthquake modeling
  • Hazard assessment
  • Real-time WebGIS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Integration of coseismic deformation into WebGIS for near real-time disaster evaluation and emergency response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this