Damage to the Earth’s crust from the 6.4 and 7.1 magnitude earthquakes that hit Southern California last week is visible in a satellite image released by NASA.
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory used satellite data to produce a map showing ruptures and displacements not visible to the naked eye — employing technology that has been developed over the last quarter century. The earthquakes were the largest to hit California in nearly 20 years.
On the NASA map, each variation in color represents 4.8 inches of ground displacement. Linear color lines indicate where an area was cracked open or disturbed.
“One of the things that we want to know after an earthquake happens is which fault moved and how far it moved. … That allows us to better understand where future earthquakes could happen,” said JPL’s Eric Fielding.
It once took a year to obtain such satellite images, but images can now arrive within three to four days.