On September 24 at 11:29 GMT, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in south-central Pakistan at a relatively shallow depth of 20 kilometers. The earthquake occurred as the result of oblique strike-slip motion, consistent with rupture within the Eurasian tectonic plate. Tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi as well as Karachi in Pakistan. Even though the immediate area to the epicenter is sparsely populated, the majority of houses are of mud brick construction and damage is expected to be extensive. The perspective view, looking to the east, shows the location of the epicenter in Pakistan's Makran fold belt. The image is centered near 27 degrees north latitude, 65.5 degrees east longitude, and was acquired December 13, 2012.
With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.
The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER provides scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.
The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.
More information about ASTER is available at http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/.