Articles | Volume 3, issue 1
Solid Earth, 3, 111–119, 2012
Solid Earth, 3, 111–119, 2012

Short communication 02 Apr 2012

Short communication | 02 Apr 2012

DInSAR Coseismic Deformation of the May 2011 Mw 5.1 Lorca Earthquake (southeastern Spain)

T. Frontera1, A. Concha2, P. Blanco3, A. Echeverria4, X. Goula1, R. Arbiol3, G. Khazaradze4, F. Pérez3, and E. Suriñach4 T. Frontera et al.
  • 1Institut Geològic de Catalunya, Seismology Dept., Balmes 209–211, Barcelona 08006, Spain
  • 2Institut Geològic de Catalunya, Geological Engineering and Hazards Dept., Balmes 209–211, Barcelona 08006, Spain
  • 3Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, Remote Sensing Dept., Parc de Montjuïc s/n, Barcelona 08038, Spain
  • 4Risknat Group, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Departament de Geodinàmica i Geofísica, Facultat de Geologia, Martí i Franquès s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. The coseismic superficial deformation at the region of Lorca (Murcia, southeastern Spain) due to the Mw 5.1 earthquake on 11 May 2011 was characterized by a multidisciplinary team, integrating information from DInSAR, GPS and numerical modelling techniques.

Despite the moderate magnitude of the event, quantitative information was obtained from the interferometric study of a pair of TerraSAR-X images. The DinSAR results defined the trace of the fault plane and evidenced uplift of the hanging wall block in agreement with the estimated deformation obtained through an elastic rupture dislocation numerical model. Meanwhile for the footwall block, interferometric results showed that tectonic deformation is masked by an important subsidence related to groundwater extraction previously identified at the area of study.

Horizontal crustal deformation rates and velocity vectors, obtained from GPS stations existent at the area, were also coherent with the tectonic setting of the southern margin of the Iberian Peninsula and with the focal mechanism calculated for the Lorca event. The analysis of a continuous GPS site in Lorca showed good agreement with the horizontal N–S direction component relative to the numerical model and tectonics of the region.

This is the first time at this seismic active area that a multi-technique analysis has been performed immediately after the occurrence of a seismic event, comparing the existing deformation data with a theoretical numerical model based on estimated seismic rupture dislocation.