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Article

Characterizing Micro-Displacements on Active Faults in the Gobi Desert with Time-Series InSAR

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2BX, UK
2
Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, London SW7 2BX, UK
3
Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2BX, UK
4
Geotechnical Consulting Group, 52A Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BE, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Adriano Ribolini
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(9), 4222; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094222
Received: 18 February 2022 / Revised: 10 April 2022 / Accepted: 15 April 2022 / Published: 22 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ground Deformation Monitoring)
This research investigates small-scale tectonic activity in the Jiujing region in Beishan, northwest China through the application of persistent scatterer (PS) Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). PS InSAR is an effective monitoring tool in this unpopulated, arid, and unvegetated rural area, whose surface geology is dominated by a single large granitic intrusion, and which represents a candidate site for a geological disposal facility (GDF) for high-level radioactive waste (HLW) in China. This research demonstrates that faults F16-2, F17, F18, and F20-2 are still active, producing dip-slip motions along the fault planes. The lithological variations in weathering and erosion can be discounted as the cause for these small-scale displacement variations. The work has also identified 11 previously unknown faults, characterising them from vertical (DU) and eastward horizontal (DE) displacements along and across the faults. These newly discovered structures demonstrate how PS InSAR can be used to monitor and measure micro-scale movements on regional-scale faults, which, in many cases, were previously considered to be inactive. Thus, this also improves our understanding of local stress regimes in this area. The Jiujing region is part of a convergent fault zone dominated by NE-SW compression, leading to NE-SW crustal shortening and NW-SE elongation. Through determination of the sense of ground movement measured at irregularly distributed PS points, some faults are reverse and trending NW-SE, while others are normal and trending NE-SW, highlighting how InSAR can be used to resolve fault type and relative movements to monitor tectonic fault blocks at a regional scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: time-series InSAR; geological disposal facility (GDF); persistent scatterer (PS); convergent fault zone; Gobi Desert; Beishan; micro-displacements; granite; wrench fault; structural geology time-series InSAR; geological disposal facility (GDF); persistent scatterer (PS); convergent fault zone; Gobi Desert; Beishan; micro-displacements; granite; wrench fault; structural geology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Z.; Lawrence, J.; Ghail, R.; Mason, P.; Carpenter, A.; Agar, S.; Morgan, T. Characterizing Micro-Displacements on Active Faults in the Gobi Desert with Time-Series InSAR. Appl. Sci. 2022, 12, 4222. https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094222

AMA Style

Wang Z, Lawrence J, Ghail R, Mason P, Carpenter A, Agar S, Morgan T. Characterizing Micro-Displacements on Active Faults in the Gobi Desert with Time-Series InSAR. Applied Sciences. 2022; 12(9):4222. https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094222

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Zixiao, James Lawrence, Richard Ghail, Philippa Mason, Anthony Carpenter, Stewart Agar, and Tom Morgan. 2022. "Characterizing Micro-Displacements on Active Faults in the Gobi Desert with Time-Series InSAR" Applied Sciences 12, no. 9: 4222. https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094222

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