Special Issue "Revisiting the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan, China Earthquake: New evidence and implications from earth observations"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Xuhui Shen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Crustal Dynamics, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100085, China
Tel. +86-13911055642
Interests: earthquake observation from space; satellite-based geophysical field investigation; active tectonics
Prof. Dr. Qiang Xu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Geohazards Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection (SKLGP), Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
Tel. +86 138 80536030
Interests: landslides(slope instability); geohzard; monitoring and early warning; earthquakes
Prof. Dr. Jann-Yenq Liu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Space Science, National Central University, 300 Jung-Da Road, Jungli City, Taoyuan 32001, Taiwan
Tel. +886-931098657
Interests: Ionospheric space weather, seismo-ionospheric precursors, ionospheric GNSS geophysics applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues

On 12 May 2008 at 14:28 local time (06:28 UTC), a devastating Mw 8.0 Wenchuan (Sichuan, China) earthquake ruptured the Longmen Shan fault zone in the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau, followed by thousands of aftershocks with 53  reaching or exceeding Mw 5.0. This earthquake caused great damage extending almost 300 km along the Longmen Shan and adjacent areas. A great number of landslides, debris flows, surface fractures, and dammed lakes were observed. All of these caused more than 80,000 fatalities and rendering 4.8m homeless. This event was one of the deadliest earthquakes in China in the past few centuries, immediately after the 1920 Haiyuan earthquake and the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which claimed 200,000 and 250,000 lives, respectively.

Based on different types of earth observations, nummerous researches have been carried out to investigate the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, including formation mechanism, coseismic and postseismic slip distributions, tectonic development of the eastern Tibetan plateau, assessment and mitigation of future seismic hazards, and space information disturbance before the event. Since its 10th Anniversary is approaching, it is time to summarise: (i) the lessons we have learnt from this great event, (ii) the new findings we have with the recent advance of earth observations, and (iii) the implications for EO in support of disaster management in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda.

In this Special Issue, we welcome submission of full, regular or review papers to be collected within a coherent thematic volume of Remote Sensing revisiting the 2008 Wenchuan event.  Submissions are encouraged to cover a broad range of topics, which may include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • Co-seismic and post-seismic deformation
  • Fault geometry, slip distribution and earthquake rupture
  • Lithospheric-Atmospheric-Ionospheric interaction
  • Disaster response and mitigation using EO
  • Future seismic hazard

Prof. Dr. Xuhui Shen
Prof. Dr. Qiang Xu
Prof. Dr. Jann-Yenq Liu
Prof. Dr. Zhenhong Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake
  • Landslides
  • Dammed lakes
  • Damage assessment
  • GNSS
  • SAR, InSAR and Polarimetric SAR
  • Satellite gravity and magnetic anomalies
  • Satellite thermal infrared anomalies
  • UAV

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A New Algorithm for the Characterization of Thermal Infrared Anomalies in Tectonic Activities
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 1941; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10121941 - 03 Dec 2018
Abstract
The monitoring of earthquake events is a very important and challenging task. Remote sensing technology has been found to strengthen the monitoring abilities of the Earth’s surface at a macroscopic scale. Therefore, it has proven to be very helpful in the exploration of [...] Read more.
The monitoring of earthquake events is a very important and challenging task. Remote sensing technology has been found to strengthen the monitoring abilities of the Earth’s surface at a macroscopic scale. Therefore, it has proven to be very helpful in the exploration of some important anomalies, which cannot be seen in a small scope. Previously, thermal infrared (TIR) anomalies have been widely regarded as indications of early warnings for earthquake events. At the present time, some classic algorithms exist, which have been developed to extract TIR anomaly signals before the onset of large earthquakes. In this research study, with the aim of addressing some of the deficiencies of the classic algorithm, which is currently used for noise filtering during the process of extracting tectonic TIR anomalies signals, a novel TTIA (tectonic thermal infrared anomalies) algorithm was proposed to characterize earthquake TIR anomalies using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature dataset (MOD11A2). Then, for the purpose of determining the rule of the TIR anomalies prior to large earthquake events, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China was chosen as the study area. It is known that tectonic movements are very active in the study area, and major earthquakes often occur. The following conclusions were obtained from the experimental results of this study: (1) The TIR anomalies extracted using the proposed TTIA method showed a very obvious spatial distribution characteristic along the tectonic faults, which indicated that the proposed algorithm had distinctive advantages in removing or weakening the disturbances of the atectonic TIR anomalies signals; (2) The seismogenic zone was observed to be a more effective observation scale for assisting in the deeper understanding and investigations of the mid- and short-term seismogenic and crust stress change processes; (3) The movement trace of the centroids of the TIR anomalies on the Tibetan Plateau three years prior to earthquake events contributed to improved judgments of dangerous regions where major earthquakes may occur in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Deformation Response of Seismogenic Faults to the Wenchuan MS 8.0 Earthquake: A Case Study for the Southern Segment of the Longmenshan Fault Zone
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(6), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10060894 - 07 Jun 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The spatiotemporal deformation response of a seismogenic fault to a large earthquake is of great significance to understanding the nucleation and occurrence of the next strong earthquake. The Longmeshan fault, where the 2008 Wenchuan MS 8.0 earthquake and 2013 Lushan MS [...] Read more.
The spatiotemporal deformation response of a seismogenic fault to a large earthquake is of great significance to understanding the nucleation and occurrence of the next strong earthquake. The Longmeshan fault, where the 2008 Wenchuan MS 8.0 earthquake and 2013 Lushan MS 7.0 earthquake occurred, provides an opportunity for us to study this important issue. Based on the GPS observations, we exploit the deformation response of the Southern Segment of the Longmenshan Fault (SSLMF) to the Wenchuan earthquake. The results are as follows: (1) during the co-seismic and post-seismic processes of the Wenchuan earthquake, the deformation is dominated by a continuous pattern in the SSLMF, which is different from the rupture pattern in the middle-northern segment of the Longmenshan Fault (LMF). Quantitatively, the compressive strain present between 2008 and 2013 was equal to the strain accumulation of 69 years during the interseismic period in the SSLMF. If the statistics scope is restricted to the eastern region of the Anxian-Guanxian Fault (AGF), which covers the Lushan source area (Abbr.: Eastern Region), the value is about 25 years; (2) After the Wenchuan earthquake, the strain accumulation pattern changes significantly. First, the deformation adjustment (especially the shear deformation) in the region that crosses the Maoxian-Wenchuan Fault (MWF) and Beichuan-Yingxiu Fault (BYF) (Abbr.: Western Region) is significantly greater than that in the Eastern Region. Furthermore, the crustal shortening is significant in the Eastern Region with minor adjustments in shear deformation. Second, the azimuth angles of the principal compressive strain rate in both regions show significant adjustments, which change fast in the first year of the observation period and then turn into the stable state. In general, the deformation responses of the SSLMF reveal that the Wenchuan earthquake promotes the occurrence of the Lushan earthquake. Their differences in the spatiotemporal domain can be attributed to the influence of afterslip, viscous relaxation of the lithosphere, mechanical parameters and block movement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integration of Single-Frequency GNSS and Strong-Motion Observations for Real-Time Earthquake Monitoring
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(6), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10060886 - 06 Jun 2018
Abstract
In this study, a real-time earthquake monitoring system based on the integration of single-frequency global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and strong motion (SM) observations was developed. This high-precision integrated system can provide full-frequency monitoring information, and it makes full use of SM data [...] Read more.
In this study, a real-time earthquake monitoring system based on the integration of single-frequency global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and strong motion (SM) observations was developed. This high-precision integrated system can provide full-frequency monitoring information, and it makes full use of SM data to quickly and accurately determine the vibration window for initial baseline shift correction. High-precision displacement data obtained from GNSS epoch-differenced velocity estimation are used to constrain the SM’s low-frequency baseline shift. Hence, full-frequency monitoring information (displacement, velocity, and acceleration) can be provided in real-time. Three different datasets were used for validation and the results confirm that the proposed system can be used for practical earthquake monitoring. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Retrieving Three-Dimensional Co-Seismic Deformation of the 2017 Mw7.3 Iraq Earthquake by Multi-Sensor SAR Images
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(6), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10060857 - 01 Jun 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
The Mw7.3 Iraq earthquake on 12 November 2017 was the largest recorded earthquake in the Zagros Mountains since 1900. In order to quantitatively analyze the co-seismic deformation caused by this earthquake, both the ascending and descending SAR images from the Japan Aerospace Exploration [...] Read more.
The Mw7.3 Iraq earthquake on 12 November 2017 was the largest recorded earthquake in the Zagros Mountains since 1900. In order to quantitatively analyze the co-seismic deformation caused by this earthquake, both the ascending and descending SAR images from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s ALOS-2 and the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1A satellites were collected to implement the conventional differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (DInSAR), multiple aperture InSAR (MAI), and azimuth pixel offset (AZO) methods. Subsequently, the three-dimensional (3D) deformation field was reconstructed over an area of about 60 × 70 km2 by a combined use of the line-of-sight (LOS) motion (detected by the DInSAR method) and the along-track (AT) motion (detected by the MAI method) through the weighted least square method. The experiment indicates that the ALOS-2 satellite performs better than the Sentinel-1A sensor in larger-magnitude earthquake deformation monitoring. Furthermore, the MAI method based on phase differencing has a better performance than the AZO method based on SAR amplitude correlation, as long as the coherence of the interferograms is sufficient. The maximum co-seismic displacements in the up–down, north–south, and east–west directions are approximately 100 cm, 100 cm, and −50 cm, respectively. After comparative analysis between the obtained 3D deformation field and the simulated deformation field with the fault parameters published by the USGS (United States Geological Survey), both co-seismic deformation fields are highly coincident, and the residuals between both (in different directions/dimensional) are in the magnitude of centimeters. Considering the geological structure in the earthquake region and factors of the LOS and 3D co-seismic deformation—such as the trend and location of the deformation bound, the different sign of displacements in hanging wall and footwall, and the locations of mainshock and aftershock—the preliminary conclusion is that the Zagros Mountain Front fault is responsible for the earthquake. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
GPS-Derived Fault Coupling of the Longmenshan Fault Associated with the 2008 Mw Wenchuan 7.9 Earthquake and Its Tectonic Implications
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050753 - 15 May 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Investigating relationships between temporally- and spatially-related continental earthquakes is important for a better understanding of the crustal deformation, the mechanism of earthquake nucleation and occurrence, and the triggering effect between earthquakes. Here we utilize Global Positioning System (GPS) velocities before and after the [...] Read more.
Investigating relationships between temporally- and spatially-related continental earthquakes is important for a better understanding of the crustal deformation, the mechanism of earthquake nucleation and occurrence, and the triggering effect between earthquakes. Here we utilize Global Positioning System (GPS) velocities before and after the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake to invert the fault coupling of the Longmenshan Fault (LMSF) and investigate the impact of the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake on the 2013 Mw 6.6 Lushan earthquake. The results indicate that, before the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, fault segments were strongly coupled and locked at a depth of ~18 km along the central and northern LMSF. The seismic gap between the two earthquake rupture zones was only locked at a depth < 5 km. The southern LMSF was coupled at a depth of ~10 km. However, regions around the hypocenter of the 2013 Mw 6.6 Lushan earthquake were not coupled, with an average coupling coefficient ~0.3. After the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, the central and northern LMSF, including part of the seismic gap, were decoupled, with an average coupling coefficient smaller than 0.2. The southern LMSF, however, was coupled to ~20 km depth. Regions around the hypocenter of the 2013 Mw 6.6 Lushan earthquake were also coupled. Moreover, by interpreting changes of the GPS velocities before and after the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, we find that the upper crust of the eastern Tibet (i.e., the Bayan Har block), which was driven by the postseismic relaxation of the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, thrust at an accelerating pace to the Sichuan block and result in enhanced compression and shear stress on the LMSF. Consequently, downdip coupling of the fault, together with the rapid accumulation of the elastic strain, lead to the occurrence of the 2013 Mw 6.6 Lushan earthquake. Finally, the quantity analysis on the seismic moment accumulated and released along the southern LMSF show that the 2013 Mw 6.6 Lushan earthquake should be defined as a “delayed” aftershock of the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake. The seismic risk is low along the seismic gap, but high on the unruptured southwesternmost area of the 2013 Mw 6.6 Lushan earthquake. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Monitoring of the Impacts of Disaster on Human Activity Using DMSP/OLS Nighttime Light Data: A Case Study of the 2008 Wenchuan, China Earthquake
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040588 - 10 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Time series monitoring of earthquake-stricken areas is significant in evaluating post-disaster reconstruction and recovery. The time series of nighttime light (NTL) data collected by the defense meteorological satellite program-operational linescan system (DMSP/OLS) sensors provides a unique and valuable resource to study changes in [...] Read more.
Time series monitoring of earthquake-stricken areas is significant in evaluating post-disaster reconstruction and recovery. The time series of nighttime light (NTL) data collected by the defense meteorological satellite program-operational linescan system (DMSP/OLS) sensors provides a unique and valuable resource to study changes in human activity (HA) because of the long period of available data. In this paper, the DMSP/OLS NTL images’ digital number (DN) is used as a proxy for the intensity of HA since there is a high correlation between them. The purpose of this study is to develop a methodology to analyze the changes of intensity and distribution of HA in different areas affected by a 2008 earthquake in Wenchuan, China. In order to compare the trends of HA before and after the earthquake, the DMSP/OLS NTL images from 2003 to 2013 were processed and analyzed. However, their analysis capability is greatly limited owing to a lack of in-flight calibration. To improve the continuity and comparability of DMSP/OLS NTL images, this study developed an automatic intercalibration method to systematically correct NTL data. The results reveal that: (1) compared with the HA before the earthquake, the reconstruction and recovery of the Wenchuan earthquake have led to a significant increase of HA in earthquake-stricken areas within three years after the earthquake; (2) the fluctuation of HA in a severely-affected area is greater than that in a less-affected area; (3) recovery efforts increase development in the most affected areas to levels that exceeded the rates in similar areas which experienced less damage; and (4) areas alongside roads and close to reconstruction projects exhibited increased development in regions with otherwise low human activity. Full article
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