Massive 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia causes ground deformation

An earthquake of a magnitude 6.9 struck Indonesian islands of Lombok and Bali on August 5, 2018, leaving thousands of people homeless and killing hundreds of people. North Lombok on the Lombok island suffered a severe damage. Soon after the massive earthquake, several aftershocks waves travel reckoning to a magnitude as high as 5.4. According to the latest data compiled and analyzed by NASA and Caltech’s Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis project (ARIA), the earthquake has actually caused ground deformation on Lombok, Indonesia.

The scientists interpreted the data and created a false-color map that shows permanent surface movement and ground deformation after comparing satellites images on a 6-day period between July 30 and August 5 when the earthquake hit the Indonesian shores. As per the image, the earthquake fault slip was beneath the northwestern oar of Lombok Island that has caused the surface to uplift itself as much as 10 inches or 25 centimeters. Other regions suffered an uplift surface movement of 15 to 5 centimeters while some regions show downwards’ displacement of 5 to 15 centimeters.

Although scientists were able to conclude most of the region of the island, the data of some parts shown in ‘white’ were inaccessible due to dense forest. European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1A and -1B satellites were used by JPL and Caltech ARIA system in order to produce the ground deformation map.

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