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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(11), 956; doi:10.3390/rs8110956

Study of Subsidence and Earthquake Swarms in the Western Pakistan

1
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
2
Center for Sustainability, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA
3
Center of Excellence in Mineralogy, University of Balochistan, Quetta 87500, Pakistan
4
Department of Geology, University of Balochistan, Quetta 87500, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zhong Lu, Richard Gloaguen, Salvatore Stramondo and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract

In recent years, the Quetta Valley and surrounding areas have experienced unprecedented levels of subsidence, which has been attributed mainly to groundwater withdrawal. However, this region is also tectonically active and is home to several regional strike-slip faults, including the north–south striking left-lateral Chaman Fault System. Several large earthquakes have occurred recently in this area, including one deadly Mw 6.4 earthquake that struck on 28 October 2008. This study integrated Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) results with GPS, gravity, seismic reflection profiles, and earthquake centroid-moment-tensor (CMT) data to identify the impact of tectonic and anthropogenic processes on subsidence and earthquake patterns in this region. To detect and map the spatial-temporal features of the processes that led to the surface deformation, this study used two Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) time series, i.e., 15 Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) images acquired by an Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) from 2006–2011 and 40 Environmental Satellite (ENVISAT) Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) images spanning 2003–2010. A Small Baseline Subset (SBAS) technique was used to investigate surface deformation. Five seismic lines totaling ~60 km, acquired in 2003, were used to map the blind thrust faults beneath a Quaternary alluvium layer. The median filtered SBAS-InSAR average velocity profile supports groundwater withdrawal as the dominant source of subsidence, with some contribution from tectonic subsidence in the Quetta Valley. Results of SBAS-InSAR multi-temporal analysis provide a better explanation for the pre-, co-, and post-seismic displacement pattern caused by the 2008 earthquake swarms across two strike-slip faults. View Full-Text
Keywords: InSAR; SBAS; subsidence; seismic profiles; faulting; earthquake; Western Himalayas InSAR; SBAS; subsidence; seismic profiles; faulting; earthquake; Western Himalayas
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, J.; Khan, S.D.; Ghulam, A.; Crupa, W.; Abir, I.A.; Khan, A.S.; Kakar, D.M.; Kasi, A.; Kakar, N. Study of Subsidence and Earthquake Swarms in the Western Pakistan. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 956.

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