TerraSAR-X Observation Results of the Magnitude-9.0 Earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku-Kanto District in Japan in 2011
On March 11, 2011 (UTC), a magnitude 9.0 huge earthquake occurred off the Pacific coast of Tohoku-Kanto district in Japan (38.32°N, 142.37°E, 32 km in depth; Hypocenter information from USGS Web site), accompanied by a massive tsunami. The earthquake and tsunami caused severe damage in many cities, and more than 10 thousand people were killed and lost their homes.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) conducted an analysis of the TerraSAR-X satellite data provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). TerraSAR-X is a German earth observation satellite that has been developed by DLR and EADS Astrium GmbH. It carries the X-band synthetic aperture radar observing the earth with different wavelength from the Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) equipped on the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS).
This time's data provision from DLR was realized since DLR and JAXA have been cooperating under a bilateral MOU in the field of satellite-based disaster monitoring and both are also members of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters. We greatly appreciate such contribution of DLR and support from all persons concerned in Germany.Figure 1 is a color composite of TerraSAR-X images around Sendai city. Color assignments are red for before the quake and green/blue for after the quake so that the red color represents the flooded area affected by the tsunamis.