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Barbour, AJ, Agnew DC, Wyatt FK.  2015.  Coseismic strains on plate boundary observatory borehole strainmeters in Southern California. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 105:431-444.   10.1785/0120140199   AbstractWebsite

Strainmeters can record offsets coincident with earthquakes, but how much these represent strain changes from elastic rebound, and how much they are contaminated by local effects, remains an open question. To study this, we use a probabilistic detection method to estimate coseismic offsets on nine borehole strainmeters (BSMs) operated by the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in southern California, from 34 earthquakes with a wide range of magnitudes and distances. In general, the offsets estimated for the BSM data differ substantially from the static strain predicted by elastic dislocation theory, which is well supported by other techniques, though 10% of the observed offsets agree well with theory. For one earthquake, the BSM offsets significantly disagree with collocated long-base laser strainmeter data. Comparisons with collocated seismic data provide strong evidence that the absolute errors between the observed and predicted strains scale with the level of seismic energy density but also that relative errors (normalized by the model size) do not. We conclude that apparent strain offsets are induced by seismic waves, occurring presumably because of irreversible deformation, whether in the rock or cementing materials close to the BSMs, or in the instruments themselves. Coseismic offsets seen in PBO BSM data should therefore be viewed with caution before being used as a measure of large-scale coseismic deformation.

King, NE, Argus D, Langbein J, Agnew DC, Bawden G, Dollar RS, Liu Z, Galloway D, Reichard E, Yong A, Webb FH, Bock Y, Stark K, Barseghian D.  2007.  Space geodetic observation of expansion of the San Gabriel Valley, California, aquifer system, during heavy rainfall in winter 2004-2005. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 112   10.1029/2006jb004448   AbstractWebsite

[1] Starting early in 2005, the positions of GPS stations in the San Gabriel valley region of southern California showed statistically significant departures from their previous behavior. Station LONG moved up by about 47 mm, and nearby stations moved away from LONG by about 10 mm. These changes began during an extremely rainy season in southern California and coincided with a 16-m increase in water level at a nearby well in Baldwin Park and a regional uplift detected by interferometric synthetic aperture radar. No equivalent signals were seen in GPS station position time series elsewhere in southern California. Our preferred explanation, supported by the timing and by a hydrologic simulation, is deformation due to recharging of aquifers after near-record rainfall in 2004 - 2005. We cannot rule out an aseismic slip event, but we consider such an event unlikely because it requires slip on multiple faults and predicts other signals that are not observed.