Imaging the Spatiotemporal Evolution of Plate Coupling With Interferometric Radar (InSAR) in the Hikurangi Subduction Zone


The coupling at the interface between tectonic plates is a key geophysical parameter to capture the frictional locking across plate boundaries and provides a means to estimate where tectonic strain is accumulating through time. Here, we use both interferometric radar (InSAR) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data to investigate the plate coupling of the Hikurangi subduction zone beneath the North Island of New Zealand, where multiple slow slip cycles are superimposed on the long-term loading. We estimate the plate coupling across the subduction zone over three multi-year observational periods targeting different stages of the slow slip cycle. Our results highlight the importance of the observational time period when interpreting coupling maps, emphasizing the temporal variability of plate coupling. Leveraging multiple geodetic data sets, we demonstrate how InSAR provides powerful constraints on the spatial resolution of both plate coupling and slow fault slip, even in a region where a dense GNSS network exists.

Geophysical Research Letters
Louise Maubant
Louise Maubant
Postdoctoral Associate

Postdoctoral Researcher

William B. Frank
William B. Frank
Assistant Professor

My research focuses on how the Earth’s crust deforms over a broad range spatiotemporal scales.