Press Release

Observation Results of the “Daichi” relating to the Niigata Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake

By SpaceRef Editor
July 23, 2007
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A huge earthquake occurred off Jyo-chuetsu, Niigata Prefecture (60 kilometers south-west of the city of Niigata), at about a depth of 17 kilometers at 10:13 a.m. on July 16, 2007 Japan Standard Time (All the following dates and times in this release are Japan Standard Time.) The earthquake was named the “2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake.” The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) analyzed observation images acquired by the Advanced Land Observing Satellite “Daichi” (ALOS) on July 19 and confirmed the pattern of diastrophism.

[Figure 1] shows diastrophism by processing the image data [Figure 2] taken by one of the Daichi onboard sensors, the PALSAR*1, at 10:13 a.m. on July 19, 2007, and one also taken by the PALSAR on January 16, 2007 using the differential interferometric method*2. The change in the distance between the Daichi and the Earth in about six months between Jan. 16 and July 19 is indicated by the two-dimensional colors in the image. We observed that the distance has been shortened (or got closer) by about 30 centimeters (maximum) in the land area at the immediate east of the epicenter. This means diastrophism, including a rise, took place there. Further south from that area, the distance between the satellite and the Earth increased by 15 cm. This indicates diastrophism, including a subsidence, occurred there.

*1 PALSAR: Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar, is a microwave sensor receiving radio wave reflections transmitted from the satellite. It can acquire image data regardless of the weather and time of day.

*2 Differential interferometric process: Radars measure the distance to the Earth; therefore, we can find a rise or a cave-in caused by a subsidence of the land by the difference in distance between two observations.

[Figure 1] Diastrophism in Chuetsu Region, Niigata

[How to Look at Diastrophism Image]

[Figure 2] Image of Chuetsu Region, Nigata, Observed by the PALSAR on July 19

SpaceRef staff editor.