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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.

Agnew, DC.  2013.  Realistic Simulations of Geodetic Network Data: The Fakenet Package. Seismological Research Letters. 84:426-432.   10.1785/0220120185   AbstractWebsite
Rolandone, F, Burgmann R, Agnew DC, Johanson IA, Templeton DC, d'Alessio MA, Titus SJ, DeMets C, Tikoff B.  2008.  Aseismic slip and fault-normal strain along the central creeping section of the San Andreas fault. Geophysical Research Letters. 35   10.1029/2008gl034437   AbstractWebsite

We use GPS data to measure the aseismic slip along the central San Andreas fault (CSAF) and the deformation across adjacent faults. Comparison of EDM and GPS data sets implies that, except for small-scale transients, the fault motion has been steady over the last 40 years. We add 42 new GPS velocities along the CSAF to constrain the regional strain distribution. Shear strain rates are less than 0.083 +/- 0.010 mu strain/yr adjacent to the creeping SAF, with 1 - 4.5 mm/yr of contraction across the Coast Ranges. Dislocation modeling of the data gives a deep, long-term slip rate of 31 - 35 mm/yr and a shallow (0 - 12 km) creep rate of 28 mm/yr along the central portion of the CSAF, consistent with surface creep measurements. The lower shallow slip rate may be due to the effect of partial locking along the CSAF or reflect reduced creep rates late in the earthquake cycle of the adjoining SAF rupture zones.

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.

Meltzner, AJ, Sieh K, Abrams M, Agnew DC, Hudnut KW, Avouac JP, Natawidjaja DH.  2006.  Uplift and subsidence associated with the great Aceh-Andaman earthquake of 2004. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 111   10.1029/2005jb003891   AbstractWebsite

Rupture of the Sunda megathrust on 26 December 2004 produced broad regions of uplift and subsidence. We define the pivot line separating these regions as a first step in defining the lateral extent and the downdip limit of rupture during that great M(w) approximate to 9.2 earthquake. In the region of the Andaman and Nicobar islands we rely exclusively on the interpretation of satellite imagery and a tidal model. At the southern limit of the great rupture we rely principally on field measurements of emerged coral microatolls. Uplift extends from the middle of Simeulue Island, Sumatra, at similar to 2.5 degrees N, to Preparis Island, Myanmar (Burma), at similar to 14.9 degrees N. Thus the rupture is similar to 1600 km long. The distance from the pivot line to the trench varies appreciably. The northern and western Andaman Islands rose, whereas the southern and eastern portion of the islands subsided. The Nicobar Islands and the west coast of Aceh province, Sumatra, subsided. Tilt at the southern end of the rupture is steep; the distance from 1.5 m of uplift to the pivot line is just 60 km. Our method of using satellite imagery to recognize changes in elevation relative to sea surface height and of using a tidal model to place quantitative bounds on coseismic uplift or subsidence is a novel approach that can be adapted to other forms of remote sensing and can be applied to other subduction zones in tropical regions.

Anderson, G, Agnew DC, Johnson HO.  2003.  Salton trough regional deformation estimated from combined trilateration and survey-mode GPS data. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 93:2402-2414.   10.1785/0120030014   AbstractWebsite

The Salton Trough in southeastern California, United States, has one of the highest seismicity and deformation rates in southern California, including 20 earthquakes M 6 or larger since 1892. From 1972 through 1987, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measured a 41-station trilateration network in this region. We remeasured 37 of the USGS baselines using survey-mode Global Positioning System methods from 1995 through 1999. We estimate the Salton Trough deformation field over a nearly 30-year period through combined analysis of baseline length time series from these two datasets. Our primary result is that strain accumulation has been steady over our observation span, at a resolution of about 0.05 mustrain/yr at 95% confidence, with no evidence for significant long-term strain transients despite the occurrence of seven large regional earthquakes during our observation period. Similar to earlier studies, we find that the regional strain field is consistent with 0.5 +/- 0.03 mustrain/yr total engineering shear strain along an axis oriented 311.6degrees +/- 23degrees east of north, approximately parallel to the strike of the major regional faults, the San Andreas and San Jacinto (all uncertainties in the text and tables are standard deviations unless otherwise noted). We also find that (1) the shear strain rate near the San Jacinto fault is at least as high as it is near the San Andreas fault, (2) the areal dilatation near the southeastern Salton Sea is significant, and (3) one station near the southeastern Salton Sea moved anomalously during the period 1987.95-1995.11.

Agnew, DC, Owen S, Shen ZK, Anderson G, Svarc J, Johnson H, Austin KE, Reilinger R.  2002.  Coseismic Displacements from the Hector Mine, California, earthquake: Results from survey-mode global positioning system measurements. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 92:1355-1364.   10.1785/0120000928   AbstractWebsite

We describe the collection and processing of Global Positioning System (GPS) data from 77 locations around the Hector Mine earthquake, which we use to estimate coseismic displacements related to this shock. The existence of pre-event GPS data, some collected to monitor postseismic displacements from the 1992 Landers earthquake and some to establish survey control in the meizoseismal area, provided a relatively dense coverage close to the rupture zone. The data available were collected mostly within the 2 years prior to the 1999 earthquake; we reobserved many points within a few days after the shock, and all within 6 months after. We include corrections for interseismic motion to provide the best value possible for coseismic motion caused by this earthquake. The displacements in general display the pattern expected for a strike-slip fault, though a few show significant vertical motion. The maximum horizontal displacement observed was 2 m; one station between fault ruptures showed little horizontal motion, but significant uplift.

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.

Fialko, Y, Simons M, Agnew D.  2001.  The complete (3-D) surface displacement field in the epicentral area of the 1999 M(w)7.1 Hector Mine earthquake, California, from space geodetic observations. Geophysical Research Letters. 28:3063-3066.   10.1029/2001gl013174   AbstractWebsite

We use Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data to derive continuous maps for three orthogonal components of the co-seismic surface displacement field due to the 1999 M-w 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake in southern California. Vertical and horizontal displacements are both predominantly antisymmetric with respect to the fault plane, consistent with predictions of linear elastic models of deformation for a strike-slip fault. Some deviations from symmetry apparent in the surface displacement data may result from complexity in the fault geometry.

Sandwell, DT, Sichoix L, Agnew D, Bock Y, Minster JB.  2000.  Near real-time radar interferometry of the Mw 7.1 Hector Mine Earthquake. Geophysical Research Letters. 27:3101-3104.   10.1029/1999gl011209   AbstractWebsite

The Hector Mine Earthquake (Mw 7.1, 16 October 1999) ruptured 45 km of previously mapped and unmapped faults in the Mojave Desert. The ERS-2 satellite imaged the Mojave Desert on 15 September and again on 20 October, just 4 days after the earthquake. Using a newly-developed ground station we acquired both passes and were able to form an interferogram within 20 hours of the second overflight. Estimates of slip along the main rupture are 1-2 meters greater than slip derived from geological mapping. The gradient of the interferometric phase reveals an interesting pattern of triggered slip on adjacent faults as well as a 30 mm deep sink hole along Interstate 40.

Abercrombie, RE, Agnew DC, Wyatt FK.  1995.  Testing a model of earthquake nucleation. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 85:1873-1878. AbstractWebsite

Some laboratory models of slip find that a critical amount (or velocity) of slow slip is required over a nucleation patch before dynamic failure begins. Typically, such patch sizes, when extrapolated to earthquakes, have been thought to be very small and the precursory slip undetectable. Ohnaka (1992, 1993) has proposed a model in which foreshocks delineate a growing zone of quasi-static slip that nucleates the dynamic rupture and suggests that it could be large enough (similar to 10 km across) to be detectable and thus useful for short-term earthquake prediction. The 1992 Landers earthquake (M 7.3) had a distinctive foreshock sequence and initiated only 70 km from the strain meters at the Pinon Flat Observatory (PFO). We use this earthquake to investigate the validity and usefulness of Ohnaka's model. The accurate relocations of Dodge et al. (1995) show that the foreshock zone can be interpreted as expanding from an area of 800 m (along strike) by 900 m (in depth), to 2000 by 3200 m in the 6.5 hr before the mainshock. We have calculated the deformation signals expected both at PFO and 20 km from the foreshock zone, assuming either constant slip or constant stress drop on a circular patch expanding at 5 cm/sec over 6.5 hr. We find the slips or stress drops would have to have been implausibly high (meters or kilobars) to have been detectable on the strain meters at PFO. Slightly better Limits are possible only 20 lan from the source. Even though the distance from Landers to PFO is small compared with the average spacing of strain meters in California, we are unable to prove or disprove Ohnaka's model of earthquake nucleation. This suggests that even if the model is valid, it will not be useful for shortterm prediction.

Johnston, MJS, Linde AT, Agnew DC.  1994.  Continuous Borehole Strain in the San-Andreas Fault Zone Before, During, and After the 28 June 1992, M(W)7.3 Landers, California, Earthquake. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 84:799-805. AbstractWebsite

High-precision strain was observed with a borehole dilational strainmeter in the Devil's Punchbowl during the 11:58 UT 28 June 1992 M(w) 7.3 Landers earthquake and the large Big Bear aftershock (M(w) 6.3). The strainmeter is installed at a depth of 176 m in the fault zone approximately midway between the surface traces of the San Andreas and Punchbowl faults and is about 100 km from the 85-km-long Landers rupture. We have questioned whether unusual amplified strains indicating precursive slip or high fault compliance occurred on the faults ruptured by the Landers earthquake, or in the San Andreas fault zone before and during the earthquake, whether static offsets for both the Landers and Big Bear earthquakes agree with expectations from geodetic and seismologic models of the ruptures and with observations from a nearby two-color geodimeter network, and whether postseismic behavior indicated continued slip on the Landers rupture or local triggered slip on the San Andreas. We show that the strain observed during the earthquake at this instrument shows no apparent amplification effects. There are no indications of precursive strain in these strain data due to either local slip on the San Andreas or precursive slip on the eventual Landers rupture. The observations are generally consistent with models of the earthquake in which fault geometry and slip have the same form as that determined by either inversion of the seismic data or inversion of geodetically determined ground displacements produced by the earthquake. Finally, there are some indications of minor postseismic behavior, particularly during the month following the earthquake.

Larsen, SC, Agnew DC, Hager BH.  1993.  Strain Accumulation in the Santa-Barbara Channel - 1970-1988. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 98:2119-2133.   10.1029/92jb02043   AbstractWebsite

Geodetic observations between 1970 and 1988 indicate appreciable strain accumulation in the Santa Barbara Channel, California. Eleven line-length changes from a six-station geodetic network spanning the eastern two-thirds of the channel were determined from electronic distance measurements in 1970/1971 and Global Positioning System observations in 1987/1988. Within this network the strains observed are spatially nonuniform. In the easternmost channel the strain is nearly uniaxial, with convergence of 6.4 +/- 0.9 mm/yr oriented N25-degrees-E +/-5-degrees; this direction is consistent with the seismicity, which is dominated by thrust mechanisms with P axes directed to the northeast. In the central channel the strain is less well determined, but appears to include a significant component of shear that is left-lateral when resolved on an east-west plane.

Agnew, DC, Ellsworth WL.  1991.  Earthquake Prediction and Long-Term Hazard Assessment. Reviews of Geophysics. 29:877-889. AbstractWebsite