Monitoring earthquakes with radar satellites

From earthquakes and volcanoes to landslides and agriculture, radar satellites have revolutionised our ability to monitor the active processes changing the surface of the earth.

Radar satellite missions can measure millimetre-scale changes in Earth’s surface following an earthquake. On 24 August 2014, an earthquake struck California’s Napa Valley. By processing two images from the Sentinel-1A radar satellite, which were acquired on 7 August and 31 August 2014 over this wine-producing region, an ‘interferogram’ was generated showing ground deformation.

CGS researchers at the Leeds based Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET+) are at the forefront for using this technology to understand the active processes shaping the surface of the earth.

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Webcam catches Colima volcano eruption

Earlier this week another big eruption occurred at the Colima volcano in western Mexico. The volcano has been erupting for the past few weeks, but this latest eruption was caught on a webcam.

The video has been sped up but shows the power of the eruption as it spews out ash some 2000m into the atmosphere above the summit.

Landslide caused by the 1964 great Alaskan earthquake

The 1964 Great Alaskan earthquake was the second largest earthquake ever measured by modern instruments. The earthquake measured 9.2 on the magnitude scale and was felt all over Alaska, parts of Canada and down south as far as Washington.

As well as the direct shaking by the seismic waves, the earthquake caused a tsunami and thousands of landslides. The United States Geological Survey in a recent tweet brought up an old photo of one of these landslides very close to a hospital.

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Magnitude 3.8 earthquake in East Midlands

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake struck the Rutland area of the East Midlands at 10.25pm yesterday evening.

The earthquake was felt across Leicestershire, Rutland and Lincolnshire. There are no reports of any damage to property.

Epicentre of the magnitude 3.8 Rutland earthquake and the locations of reported shaking. Source: BGS

Epicentre of the magnitude 3.8 Rutland earthquake and the locations of reported shaking.
Source: BGS.

Planet Earth: The highest resolution timelapse of Earth ever created

This is the highest resolution video of our planet ever created. The animation shows the Earth from May 15th ato May 19th, 2011. It was created using images from the Russian geostationary Elektro-L weather satellite.

James Tyrwhitt-Drake from the University of Victoria in Canada used these images to create a super high definition 4K timelapse video of our planet. It’s pretty amazing!

P.s. Be sure to set the resolution to highest setting in the video.

Powerful Low Pressure System Over the UK = Wind and Rain

A powerful low pressure system affected the UK yesterday evening and overnight bringing strong winds and heavy rain to many areas of the UK.

From the Met Office blog:

“The low pressure system will continue to affect the UK today, bringing sunny spells and blustery, heavy showers with the chance of thunderstorms and snow over high ground. Severe gales are again expected around western and northwestern coasts, with the strongest winds likely over Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland, extending to northern Scotland later. You can see detail on this on our forecast and warnings pages.”

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