Deformation of the western Indian plate boundary: Insights from differential and multi-aperture InSAR data inversion for the 2008 Baluchistan (Western Pakistan) seismic sequence

Giuseppe Pezzo, John Peter Merryman Boncori, Simone Atzori, Andrea Antonioli, Stefano Salvi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this study, we use Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (DInSAR) and multi-aperture interferometry (MAI) to constrain the sources of the three largest events of the 2008 Baluchistan (western Pakistan) seismic sequence, namely two Mw 6.4 events only 12 hr apart and an Mw 5.7 event that occurred 40 d later. The sequence took place in the Quetta Syntaxis, the most seismically active region of Baluchistan, tectonically located between the colliding Indian Plate and the Afghan Block of the Eurasian Plate. Surface displacements estimated from ascending and descending ENVISAT ASAR acquisitions were used to derive elastic dislocation models for the sources of the two main events. The estimated slip distributions have peak values of 120 and 130 cm on a pair of almost parallel and near-vertical faults striking NW-SE, and of 50 cm and 60 cm on two high-angle faults striking NE-SW. Values up to 50 cm were found for the largest aftershock on an NE-SW fault located between the sources of the main shocks. The MAI measurements, with their high sensitivity to the north-south motion component, are crucial in this area to accurately describe the coseismic displacement field. Our results provide insight into the deformation style of the Quetta Syntaxis, suggesting that right-lateral slip released at shallow depths on large NW fault planes is compatible with left-lateral activation on smaller NE-SW faults.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)25-39
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Continental margins: convergent
  • Earthquake interaction, forecasting and prediction
  • Earthquake source observation
  • Radar interferometry
  • Satellite geodesy
  • Seismicity and tectonics

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