Mexico Earthquake June 2020

Start Date

June 23, 2020

Overview

Versión en Español

On June 23rd, 2020 a magnitude 7.4 earthquake occurred near Oaxaca, Mexico, damaging buildings and prompting evacuations in the region. The earthquake also triggered a tsunami warning, with waves of 0.68 meters (2.2 ft) observed in Acapulco and 0.71 meters (2.3 ft) in Salina Cruz.

This map produced from JAXA ALOS-2 satellite data shows surface displacement caused by the 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Mexico. Credit: NASA, JAXA, Sang-Wan Kim, Batu Osmanoglu, and Min-Jeong Jo

This map, produced from JAXA ALOS-2 satellite data acquired before (3/31/2020) and after (6/23/2020) the event, shows surface displacement caused by the 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Mexico. In the image, a complete color cycle represents a relative displacement between two points on the ground. Each cycle defines about 0.15 meters of displacement in the satellite’s line-of-sight (LOS) direction. Nearly 0.45 meter displacement has been observed at the epicenter of the earthquake according to this initial analysis. Credit: NASA, JAXA Sang-Wan Kim, Batu Osmanoglu, and Min-Jeong Jo

The NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program has activated for this event for research purposes, and is coordinating with researchers and partners to produce satellite-based data and imagery to better understand the event and its impacts. To date, surface displacement maps (see above) have been generated using Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) ALOS-2 satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data of the region.

The NASA Applied Sciences A.37 ROSES research project “Enlisting Satellite Data to Modernize Local Tsunami Early Warning”, lead by Dr. Diego Melgar, has generated slip models and tsunami models for the event using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) displacement data. Although the tsunami impacts from the event were minor, this was an opportunity to test the capabilities of the tsunami forecasting and early warning system, which will help to guide modifications in the software and familiarize practitioners with the strengths and limitations of the different methods used. Using lessons learned from these and other events, the project will work towards producing an operational GNSS-enabled tsunami early warning system which will provide actionable information to emergency responders and decision makers to order evacuations in the affected regions as quickly as possible.

This interferogram, produced by the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shows displacement from the June 23rd Mexico earthquake. The data was produced using European Space Agency (ES

This interferogram, produced by the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shows displacement from the June 23rd Mexico earthquake. The data was produced using European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite data from before (6/19/20) and after (6/25/20) the event. Credit: NASA ARIA Team, NASA JPL-Caltech. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA.