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Journal Article
Vidale, JE, Agnew DC, Johnston MJS, Oppenheimer DH.  1998.  Absence of earthquake correlation with Earth tides: An indication of high preseismic fault stress rate. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 103:24567-24572.   10.1029/98jb00594   AbstractWebsite

Because the rate of stress change from the Earth tides exceeds that from tectonic stress accumulation, tidal triggering of earthquakes would be expected if the final hours of loading of the fault were at the tectonic rate and if rupture began soon after the achievement of a critical stress level. We analyze the tidal stresses and stress rates on the fault planes and at the times of 13,042 earthquakes which are so close to the San Andreas and Calaveras faults in California that we may take the fault plane to be known. We find that the stresses and stress rates from Earth tides at the times of earthquakes are distributed in the same way as tidal stresses and stress rates at random times. While the rate of earthquakes when the tidal stress promotes failure is 2% higher than when the stress does not, this difference in rate is not statistically significant. This lack of tidal triggering implies that preseismic stress rates in the nucleation zones of earthquakes are at least 0.15 bar/h just preceding seismic failure, much above the long-term tectonic stress rate of 10(-4) bar/h.

Larson, KM, Agnew DC.  1991.  Application of the Global Positioning System to Crustal Deformation Measurement 1. Precision and Accuracy. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 96:16547-16565.   10.1029/91jb01275   AbstractWebsite

In this paper we assess the precision and accuracy of interstation vectors determined using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. These vectors were between stations in California separated by 50-450 km. Using data from tracking the seven block I satellites in campaigns from 1986 through 1989, we examine the precision of GPS measurements over time scales of a several days and a few years. We characterize GPS precision by constant and length dependent terms. The north-south component of the interstation vectors has a short-term precision of 1.9 mm + 0.6 parts in 10(8); the east-west component shows a similar precision at the shortest distances, 2.1 mm, with a larger length dependence, 1.3 parts in 10(8). The vertical precision has a mean value of 17 mm, with no clear length dependence. For long-term precision, we examine interstation vectors measured over a period of 2.2 to 2.7 years. When we include the recent results of Davis et al. (1989) for distances less than 50 km, we can describe long-term GPS precision for baselines less than 450 km in length as 3.4 mm + 1.2 parts in 10(8), 5.2 mm + 2.8 parts in 10(8), 11.7 mm + 13 parts in 10(8) in the north- south, east-west, and vertical components. Accuracy has been determined by comparing GPS baseline estimates with those derived from very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). A comparison of eight interstation vectors shows differences ranging from 5 to 30 mm between the mean GPS and mean VLBI estimates in the horizontal components and less than 80 mm in the vertical. A large portion of the horizontal differences can be explained by local survey errors at two sites in California. A comparison which suffers less from such errors is between the rates of change of the baselines. The horizontal rates estimated from over 4 years of VLBI data agree with those determined with 1-2 years of GPS data to within one standard deviation. In the vertical, both GPS and VLBI find insignificant vertical motion.

Fialko, Y, Sandwell D, Agnew D, Simons M, Shearer P, Minster B.  2002.  Deformation on nearby faults induced by the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake. Science. 297:1858-1862.   10.1126/science.1074671   AbstractWebsite

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar observations of surface deformation due to the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake reveal motion on several nearby faults of the eastern California shear zone. We document both vertical and horizontal displacements of several millimeters to several centimeters across kilometer-wide zones centered on pre-existing faults. Portions of some faults experienced retrograde (that is, opposite to their long-term geologic slip) motion during or shortly after the earthquake. The observed deformation likely represents elastic response of compliant fault zones to the permanent co-seismic stress changes. The induced fault displacements imply decreases in the effective shear modulus within the kilometer-wide fault zones, indicating that the latter are mechanically distinct from the ambient crustal rocks.

Bock, Y, Agnew DC, Fang P, Genrich JF, Hager BH, Herring TA, Hudnut KW, King RW, Larsen S, Minster JB, Stark K, Wdowinski S, Wyatt FK.  1993.  Detection of Crustal Deformation from the Landers Earthquake Sequence Using Continuous Geodetic Measurements. Nature. 361:337-340.   10.1038/361337a0   AbstractWebsite

THE measurement of crustal motions in tectonically active regions is being performed increasingly by the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS)1,2, which offers considerable advantages over conventional geodetic techniques3,4. Continuously operating GPS arrays with ground-based receivers spaced tens of kilometres apart have been established in central Japan5,6 and southern California to monitor the spatial and temporal details of crustal deformation. Here we report the first measurements for a major earthquake by a continuously operating GPS network, the Permanent GPS Geodetic Array (PGGA)7-9 in southern California. The Landers (magnitude M(w) of 7.3) and Big Bear (M(w) 6.2) earthquakes of 28 June 1992 were monitored by daily observations. Ten weeks of measurements, centred on the earthquake events, indicate significant coseismic motion at all PGGA sites, significant post-seismic motion at one site for two weeks after the earthquakes, and no significant preseismic motion. These measurements demonstrate the potential of GPS monitoring for precise detection of precursory and aftershock seismic deformation in the near and far field.

Barbour, AJ, Agnew DC.  2012.  Detection of Seismic Signals Using Seismometers and Strainmeters. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 102:2484-2490.   10.1785/0120110298   AbstractWebsite

Using data from borehole and long-base strainmeters and from borehole and surface seismometers, we compare the seismic-wave detection capability of strainmeters and seismometers. We use noise spectra to determine the relative signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) on different sensors, as a function of the phase velocity and frequency of a signal. For the instruments we analyze, signals with frequencies from 10(-3) to 10 Hz and phase velocities typical of (or higher than) surface and body waves will have lower SNRs on the strainmeters than on broadband seismometers. At frequencies from 0.1 to 10 Hz the borehole (short-period) seismometers have better SNRs than strainmeters for typical phase velocities; at lower frequencies strainmeter data signals would have higher SNRs.

Johnson, HO, Agnew DC, Hudnut K.  1994.  Extremal Bounds on Earthquake Movement from Geodetic Data - Application to the Landers Earthquake. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 84:660-667. AbstractWebsite

We present a technique to place quantifiable bounds on the moment of an earthquake from geodetic data, assuming known fault geometry. Application of this technique to the 1992 Landers earthquake shows that the moment must have been between 0.84 and 1.15 x 10(20) Nm with 90% confidence (M 7.25 to 7.34). We also find that to satisfy the data to this same level of confidence, the slip on the fault must have exceeded 7 m in at least one location, in good agreement with field mapping of the surface rupture.

Agnew, DC, Jones LM.  1991.  Prediction Probabilities from Foreshocks. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth and Planets. 96:11959-11971.   10.1029/91jb00191   AbstractWebsite

When any earthquake occurs, the possibility that it might be a foreshock increases the probability that a larger earthquake will occur nearby within the next few days. Clearly, the probability of a very large earthquake ought to be higher if the candidate foreshock were on or near a fault capable of producing that very large mainshock, especially if the fault is towards the end of its seismic cycle. We derive an expression for the probability of a major earthquake characteristic to a particular fault segment, given the occurrence of a potential foreshock near the fault. To evaluate this expression, we need: (1) the rate of background seismic activity in the area, (2) the long-term probability of a large earthquake on the fault, and (3) the rate at which foreshocks precede large earthquakes, as a function of time, magnitude, and spatial location. For this last function we assume the average properties of foreshocks to moderate earthquakes in California: (1) the rate of mainshock occurrence after foreshocks decays roughly as t-1, so that most foreshocks are within three days of their mainshock, (2) foreshocks and mainshocks occur within 10 km of each other, and (3) the fraction of mainshocks with foreshocks increases linearly as the magnitude threshold for foreshocks decreases, with 50% of the mainshocks having foreshocks with magnitudes within three units of the mainshock magnitude (within three days). We apply our results to the San Andreas, Hayward, San Jacinto, and Imperial faults, using the probabilities of large earthquakes from the report of the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities (1988). The magnitude of candidate event required to produce a 1% probability of a large earthquake on the San Andreas fault within three days ranges from a high of 5.3 for the segment in San Gorgonio Pass to a low of 3.6 for the Carrizo Plain.

Nikolaidis, RM, Bock Y, de Jonge PJ, Shearer P, Agnew DC, vanDomselaar M.  2001.  Seismic wave observations with the Global Positioning System. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 106:21897-21916.   10.1029/2001jb000329   AbstractWebsite

We describe the direct measurement of ground displacement caused by the Hector Mine earthquake in southern California (M-w 7.1, October 16, 1999). We use a new method of instantaneous positioning, which estimates site coordinates from only a single epoch of Global Positioning System (GPS) data, to measure dynamic as well as static displacements at 24 stations of the Southern California Integrated GPS Network (SCIGN), with epicentral distances from 50 to 200 km. For sites outside the Los Angeles basin the observed displacements are well predicted by an elastic half-space model with a point shear dislocation; within the sedimentary basin we observe large displacements with amplitudes up to several centimeters that last as long as 3-4 min. Since we resolve the GPS phase ambiguities and determine site coordinates independently at each epoch, the GPS solution rate is the same as the receiver sampling rate. For the SCIGN data this is 0.033 Hz (once per 30 s), though sample rates up to 2 Hz are possible with the SCIGN receivers. Since the GPS phase data are largely uncorrelated at I s, a higher sampling rate would offer improved temporal resolution of ground displacement, so that in combination with inertial seismic data, instantaneous GPS positioning would in many cases significantly increase the observable frequency band for strong ground motions.