Kunlun Fault, Tibet
March 31, 2003
This ASTER image was acquired on July 20, and covers an area of 15 by 40 km. The Kunlun Fault is one of the gigantic strike-slip faults that bound the north side of Tibet. In the image, two splays of the fault are clearly seen crossing the image from east to west. The northern fault juxtaposes sedimentary rocks of the mountains against alluvial fans; its trace is also marked by lines of vegetation, appearing red in the image. The southern, younger fault cuts through the alluvium. A dark linear area in the center of the image is wet ground where groundwater has ponded against the fault. Measurements from the image of displacements of young streams that cross the fault show 15 to 75 m of left-lateral offset.