DOI: 10.3390/rs15174190 ISSN:

Satellite Imagery for Rapid Detection of Liquefaction Surface Manifestations: The Case Study of Türkiye–Syria 2023 Earthquakes

Maria Taftsoglou, Sotiris Valkaniotis, George Papathanassiou, Efstratios Karantanellis
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

The 6 February 2023 earthquake doublet (Mw 7.7 and Mw 7.6) that occurred on the East Anatolian Fault Zone (EAFZ) triggered a significant amount of soil liquefaction phenomena in SE Türkiye and NW Syria. The great areal extent of the affected area and the necessity of rapid response led to the adoption and improvement of a workflow for mapping liquefaction phenomena based on remote sensing data. Using satellite imagery, we identified 1850 sites with liquefaction manifestation and lateral spreading deformation. We acquired a thorough map of earthquake-triggered liquefaction based on visual mapping with optical satellite imagery (high and very high-resolution) and the aid of radar satellite imagery and interferometry. The majority of sites are found along meandering sections of river valleys, coastal plains, drained lakes, swamps, and lacustrine basins along the East Anatolian Fault, highlighting once again the influence of geomorphology/surficial geology on the distribution of liquefaction phenomena. A total of 95% of the liquefaction occurrences were mapped within 25 km from the surface trace of the fault, confirming the distance from fault rupture as a more effective tool for predicting the distribution of liquefaction than epicentral distance. Thus, taking into consideration the rapid documentation of these phenomena without the limitations in terms of time, cost, and accessibility of the field investigation techniques, this desktop-based approach can result in a rapid and comprehensive map of liquefaction from a strong earthquake, and can also be used as a future guide for subsequent field investigations for liquefaction hazard mapping.

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