Skip to main content

Earthquake fault of the 26 May 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake observed by SAR interferometry


We analyzed synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) to reveal surface deformation associated with the 26 May 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, for which the fault location and geometry have not been clearly determined. Our results demonstrate that surface deformation occurred 10 km east of the Opak River fault thought to be the source of the May 2006 event and that the probable causative fault delineated in this study is consistent with aftershock epicenters determined by a temporary seismic network. The trace of the causative fault bends at its southern termination toward the Opak River fault as if it were a splay. Our data demonstrate that another probable slip plane extends across Yogyakarta and that the heavily damaged areas covered by young volcanic deposits may have undergone subsidence during the earthquake.


  • Abidin, H. Z., H. Andreas, T. Kato, T. Ito, I. Meilano, F. Kimata, D. H. Natawidjaya, and H. Harjono, Crustal deformation studies in Java (Indonesia) using GPS, J. Earthq. Tsunami, 3, 77–88, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Consultative Group on Indonesia, Preliminary damage and loss assessment, Yogyakarta and central Java natural disaster: A joint report of BAPPENAS, the provincial and local governments of D.I. Yogyakarta, the provincial and local governments of central Java, and international partners, in The 15th Meeting of the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) Jakarta, June 14, 2006, 140 pp., Jakarta, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goldstein, R. M. and C. L. Werner, Radar interferogram filtering for geophysical applications, Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, 4035–4038, 1998.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harvard-CMT, Focal mechanism of the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, The website of the Harvard Global CMT, id#20062253A, (available at, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kato, T., T. Ito, H. Z. Abidin, and Agustan, Preliminary report on crustal deformation surveys and tsunami measurements caused by the July17, 2006 South off Java Island Earthquake and Tsunami, Indonesia, Earth Planets Space, 59, 1055–1059, 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lavigne, F. and J.-C. Thouret, Sediment transportation and deposition by rain-triggered lahars at Merapi Volcano, Central Java, Indonesia, Geomorphology, 49, 45–69, 2002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, Z. W., X. L. Ding, C. Huang, D. W. Zheng, W. B. Zou, and Y. K. Shea, Filtering method of SAR interferograms with strong noise, Int. J. Remote Sensing, 27, 2991–3000, 2006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Matsuoka, M. and F. Yamazaki, Use of SAR imagery for monitoring areas damaged due to the 2006 Mid Java, Indonesia earthquake, Proceedings of 4th international workshop on remote sensing for post-disaster response, (available at workshop.html, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nakano, M., H. Kumagai, K. Miyakawa, T. Yamashita, H. Inoue, M. Ishida, S. Aoi, N. Morikawa, and P. Harjadi, Source Estimates of the May 2006 Java Earthquake, EOS Trans. AGU, 87, 45, doi:10.1029/2006EO450002, 2006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • NEIC-FMT, Focal mechanism of the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, The website of U.S. National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), (available at depot/2006/eq 060526 neb6/neic neb6 q.html, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  • Okada, Y., Surface deformation due to shear and tensile faults in a halfspace, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 75, 1135–1154, 1985.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rahardjo, W., Sukandarrumidi, and H. Rosidi, Geologic map of the Yogyakarta quadrangle, Java, scale 1:100,000, 8 pp., Geol. Surv. Indonesia, Minist. of Mines, Jakarta, 1977.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tregoning, P., F. K. Brunner, Y. Bock, S. O. O. Puntodewo, R. McCaffery, J. F. Genrich, E. Calais, J. Rais, and C. Subarya, First geodetic measurement of convergence across the Java Trench, Geophys. Res. Lett., 21, 2135–2138, 1994.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • USGS Preliminary Earthquake Report, The website of United States Geological Survey, Earthquake Hazards Program, (available at, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wagner, D., I. Koulakov, W. Rabbel, B.-G. Luehr, A. Wittwer, H. Kopp, M. Bohm, and G. Asch, Joint inversion of active and passive seismic data in central Java, Geophys. J. Int., 170(2), 923–932, doi:10.1111/j.1365–246X. 2007.03435.x, 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walter, T. R., B. Luhr, M. Sobiesiak, H. Grosser, R. Wang, S. Parolai, H.-U. Wetzel, J. Zschau, C. Milkereit, and E. Cunther, Soft volcanic sediments compound 2006 Java Earthquake disaster, EOS, 88(46), 486, 13 November 2007, doi: 10.1029/2007EO460002, 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walter, T. R. et al., The 26 May 2006 magnitude 6.4 Yogyakarta earthquake south of Mt. Merapi volcano: Did lahar deposits amplify ground shaking and thus lead to the disaster?, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q05006, doi:10.1029 /2007GC001810, 2008.

  • Yagi, Y., Earthquake which occurred near the Yogyakarta city on May 26, 2006, Int. Inst. Seismol. Earthquake Eng., Tsukuba, Japan, (available at HP/yagi/EQ/2006Jawa/, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Takeshi Tsuji.

Rights and permissions

Open Access  This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tsuji, T., Yamamoto, K., Matsuoka, T. et al. Earthquake fault of the 26 May 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake observed by SAR interferometry. Earth Planet Sp 61, e29–e32 (2009).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words