Last Updated : January 19, 2016

The 2015 Tajikistan Earthquake: Crustal deformation detected by ALOS-2 data

Crustal Deformation Observed by Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

Released: Jan. 15, 2016 Japanese version of this page

Crustal Deformation revealed by InSAR

A large earthquake (Mw7.2, USGS) occurred in Tajikistan on December 7, 2015. We applied interferometric analysis using ALOS-2/PALSAR-2 data to measure the crustal deformation caused by the earthquake.

The result obtained from the data acquired by January 13, 2016 is summarized as follows.
  • Large deformation was detected toward north-east direction from the epicenter with the length of over 40 km.
  • A left-lateral strike-slip fault with northeast-southwest strike is inferred from the deformation pattern of the interferograms.
  • The middle of the deformation area near the epicenter is decorrelated, possibly due to too large deformation, collapse of surface, or snow coverage.
  • There are discontinuities of the displacement, implying that earthquake surface faults might have appeared.

Note that the result is possibly updated with further elaborated analyses.


Click the images below to enlarge.

Figure 1

Fig. 1 [PNG: 1.46MB]


Figure 2

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Figure 3

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Figure 4

Fig. 4 [PNG: 741KB]


Date Time

Bperp KMZ
1, 2 2015/07/27
19:02 Asc. Right F-F 37° +12m 11.8MB
3, 4 2015/12/27
07:13 Des. Right W-W 38° -137m 5.8MB

*1 F: Stripmap (Fine[10m]), W: ScanSAR (Normal)
(cf. ALOS-2 Project / PALSAR-2 (JAXA))

Analized by GSI from ALOS-2 raw data of JAXA.
These results were obtained through the activity of the SAR analysis working group of the Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.

The 2015 Tajikistan Earthquake

Date-Time December 7, 2015 12:50 (Local Time), 07:50 (UTC)
Hypocenter Location 38.227°N, 72.752°E Depth: 33.0 km (USGS, as of January 19, 2016)
Magnitude Mw=7.2 (USGS, as of January 19, 2016)


ALOS-2 (Advanced Land Observing Satellite 2) launched by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on May 24, 2014

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YARAI Hiroshi : Head of Division
KOBAYASHI Tomokazu : Chief Researcher
MORISHITA Yu : Researcher