Satellite Radar Detects Damage from Sept. 2017 Chiapas, Mexico Quake
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Southern Mexico that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) from the magnitude 8.1 Chiapas earthquake of Sept. 7, 2017 (near midnight local time, early morning on Sept. 8 UTC). The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (Sept. 7, 2017 UTC) and after (Sept. 13, 2017 UTC) the earthquake.
The map covers an area of 155 by 106 miles (250 by 170 kilometers). Each pixel measures about 33 yards (30 meters) across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing the SAR images to optical satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA/JPL-Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL under a contract with NASA.