US: Researchers with the St. Louis University Geology Department have teamed up with NASA to use satellite technology to study the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone.
Through the “NASA DEVELOP National Program,” Matt Warbritton, an undergraduate student at SLU and Ana Londono, an assistant professor of geomorphology in the university’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, are using satellite-based radar technology to monitor stress accumulation along the Wabash fault system. The goal is to produce more accurate hazard assessments for local officials, engineers, builders and seismologists.
Warbritton and Londono are using synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery to determine ground elevation changes and ground deformation across the Wabash Zone.
“We use this method because there is no surface expression known for the faults in the area, an issue that makes fault mapping difficult,” Warbritton said.
“Using computer software, we are able to process these images and refine them,” Warbritton said. “If the satellite data produces good results, these images would show the ground displacement over the time interval of the images. By gathering quantitative data, it is possible to assess potential stress accumulation in the area.”
Source: Courier Press