The 2016 M7 Kumamoto, Japan, Earthquake Slip Field Derived From a Joint Inversion of Differential Lidar Topography, Optical Correlation, and InSAR Surface Displacements

Chelsea Scott, Johann Champenois, Yann Klinger, Edwin Nissen, Tadashi Maruyama, Tatsuro Chiba, Ramon Arrowsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Observations of surface deformation within 1–2 km of a surface rupture contain invaluable information about the coseismic behavior of the shallow crust. We investigate the oblique strike-slip 2016 M7 Kumamoto, Japan, earthquake, which ruptured the Futagawa-Hinagu Fault. We solve for variable fault slip in an inversion of differential lidar topography, satellite optical image correlation, and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR)-derived surface displacements. The near-fault differential lidar pose several challenges. The model fault geometry must follow the surface trace at the sub-kilometer scale. Integration of displacement datasets with different sensitivities to the 3D deformation field and varying spatial distribution permits additional complexity in the inferred slip but introduces ambiguity that requires careful selection of the regularization. We infer a Mw 7.09-0.05+0.03 earthquake. The maximum slip of 6.9 m occurred at 4.5-km depth, suggesting an on-fault slip deficit in the upper several kilometers of the crust that likely reflects distributed and inelastic deformation within the shallow fault zone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • earthquake deformation
  • earthquake source inversion
  • InSAR
  • lidar
  • optical correlation
  • shallow slip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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