Pre- and co-seismic ground deformations of the 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan earthquake, measured with SAR interferometry

G. X. Liu, Xiaoli Ding, Zhilin Li, Z. W. Li, Y. Q. Chen, S. B. Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The 1999 Mw= 7.6 Chi-Chi earthquake was the strongest inland earthquake in Taiwan in the 20th century. Five radar images acquired with the C-band SARs onboard the ERS-1/2 satellites are combined to study the pre- and co-seismic surface deformations in the epicentral area of about 1500 km2. The pre-seismic interferograms over 2-3 years show consistent fringe patterns that are equivalent to LOS displacement variations of up to about 32 mm. The deformations are likely caused by the east-west tectonic compression in the region. The short-term co-seismic interferograms show clear arc-shaped fringe patterns of about 10 fringes, equivalent to displacement variations of about 28.3 cm. The co-seismic deformation results fit well with both GPS measurements and a simulated interferogram computed based on a fault-dislocation model. This study demonstrates the capability of short-wavelength InSAR systems for monitoring ground deformations of flat terrain in tropical regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-343
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004


  • Chi-Chi earthquake
  • Displacement field
  • Fault model
  • GPS
  • SAR interferometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computers in Earth Sciences

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