Measuring liquefaction-induced deformation from optical satellite imagery



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Liquefaction-induced deformations associated with lateral spreading represent a significant hazard that can cause substantial damage during earthquakes. The ability to accurately predict lateral-spreading displacement is hampered by a lack of field data from previous earthquakes. Remote sensing via optical image correlation can fill this gap and provide data regarding liquefaction-induced lateral spreading displacements. In this thesis, deformations from three earthquakes (2010 Darfield, February 2011 Christchurch, and 2011 Tohoku Earthquakes) are measured using optical image correlation applied to 0.5-m resolution satellite imagery. The resulting deformations from optical image correlation are compared to the geologic conditions, as well as field observations and measurements of liquefaction. Measurements from optical image correlation are found to have a precision within 0.40 m in all three cases, and results agree well with field measurements.