Satellite Radar Detects Damage from Sept. 19, 2017 Raboso, Mexico, Quake



Washington, DC, United States

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 Central Mexico, including Mexico City, that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) from the magnitude 7.1 Raboso earthquake of Sept. 19, 2017 (local time). 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. 8, 2017) and after (Sept. 20, 2017) the earthquake.

The map covers an area of 109 by 106 miles (175 by 170 kilometers). Each pixel measures about 33 yards (30 meters) across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground and building surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing the DPM to a crowd-sourced Google Map (https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1_-V97lbdgLFHpx-CtqhLWlJAnYY&ll=19.41452166501326%2C-99.16498240436704&z=16). 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 contract with NASA.


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  • Title: Satellite Radar Detects Damage from Sept. 19, 2017 Raboso, Mexico, Quake
  • Creator: NASA-JPL/Caltech/ESA/Copernicus/Google
  • Date Created: 2017-09-20
  • Rights: JPL
  • Album: kboggs