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Agnew, DC.  2010.  Comment on "Changes of Reporting Rates in the Southern California Earthquake Catalog, Introduced by a New Definition of M(L)" by Thessa Tormann, Stefan Wiemer, and Egill Hauksson. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 100:3320-3324.   10.1785/0120100027   AbstractWebsite

Earthquake catalogs can be inhomogeneous because of changes in the definition of earthquake magnitude. Provided that a sufficient number of events have magnitudes defined in more than one system, it is possible to apply a Monte Carlo method to the observed joint distribution to convert sets of magnitudes from one system to another, improving any statistical analysis of the catalog. I demonstrate the method for the southern California catalog, in which the definition of local magnitude has recently been changed. Monte Carlo magnitude mapping appears to eliminate temporal changes that are otherwise present.

Donner, S, Lin CJ, Hadziioannou C, Gebauer A, Vernon F, Agnew DC, Igel H, Schreiber U, Wassermann J.  2017.  Comparing direct observation of strain, rotation, and displacement with array estimates at Pinon Flat Observatory, California. Seismological Research Letters. 88:1107-1116.   10.1785/0220160216   AbstractWebsite

The unique instrument setting at the Pinon Flat Observatory in California is used to simultaneously measure 10 out of the 12 components, completely describing the seismic-wave field. We compare the direct measurements of rotation and strain for the 13 September 2015 M-w 6.7 Gulf of California earthquake with array-derived observations using this configuration for the first time. In general, we find a very good fit between the observations of the two measurements with cross-correlation coefficients up to 0.99. These promising results indicate that the direct and array-derived measurements of rotation and strain are consistent. For the array-based measurement, we derived a relation to estimate the frequency range within which the array-derived observations provide reliable results. This relation depends on the phase velocity of the study area and the calibration error, as well as on the size of the array.

King, NE, Agnew DC, Wyatt F.  1988.  Comparing Strain Events - A Case-Study for the Homestead Valley Earthquakes. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 78:1693-1706. AbstractWebsite
Wyatt, F, Bilham R, Beavan J, Sylvester AG, Owen T, Harvey A, Macdonald C, Jackson DD, Agnew DC.  1984.  Comparing Tiltmeters for Crustal Deformation Measurement - A Preliminary Report. Geophysical Research Letters. 11:963-966.   10.1029/GL011i010p00963   AbstractWebsite

A collection of high-precision tiltmeters is being operated at Piñon Flat Observatory, southern California, both to compare instruments and to measure tectonic deformation. We report on 1.2 years of data from four of these: two Michelson-Gale long fluid tiltmeters, one long center-pressure tiltmeter, and a shallow borehole tiltmeter. The three long-base instruments are all located on the same baseline, with a precise leveling line running between their end-monuments. At nontidal frequencies, only the two Michelson-Gale instruments show some coherence (γ² = .3 for periods of 2 to 4 days), while the center-pressure instrument is correlated with air temperature at periods from a few days to a few weeks. The most stable tilt record shows a secular rate of 0.28 µrad/a, which may be real. Over much longer times, leveling to specially stabilized benchmarks should confirm this. Comparing instruments has identified more and less successful measurement techniques; it appears that low-noise data will most probably be produced only by relatively complex and expensive instruments, though even for these, the operating costs over any reasonable lifetime will exceed the capital cost. Even the best existing sensors must be improved to measure continuous tectonic motions.

Wyatt, F, Cabaniss G, Agnew DC.  1982.  A Comparison of Tiltmeters at Tidal Frequencies. Geophysical Research Letters. 9:743-746.   10.1029/GL009i007p00743   AbstractWebsite

Different techniques for measuring crustal deformation are now being tested at Piñon Flat Geophysical Observatory in southern California. As a part of this comparison, we have analyzed five months of data from four different tiltmeters: three borehole instruments, two 4.5 m and one 26 m deep; and a long-base (535 m) instrument at the surface. For periods from 1 hour to 10 days, the signals from the deep borehole and long-base instruments show comparable noise levels; the shallow instruments are much noisier. Tidal analyses give results for the different sensors which agree to within the errors, which are several percent.

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.

Agnew, DC.  1983.  Conservation of Mass in Tidal Loading Computations. Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 72:321-325.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.1983.tb03786.x   AbstractWebsite

A re-examination of methods for including mass conservation in tidal loading shows that the spherical harmonic correction of Farrell is incorrect. The effect of unconserved mass for a nearly ocean-covered earth shows that the proper spherical harmonic expansion of the Newtonian Green function is the average of the internal and external expansions.

Cummins, P, Wahr JM, Agnew DC, Tamura Y.  1991.  Constraining Core Undertones Using Stacked IDA Gravity Records. Geophysical Journal International. 106:189-198. AbstractWebsite

A search is made for oscillatory gravity signals, possibly associated with core undertones, in the frequency range between the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal bands. IDA tidal data recorded during 6 month intervals following four large earthquakes were used, and the data from different stations were stacked according to spherical harmonic surface amplitude patterns with angular order l less-than-or-equal-to 4. The detection level of a signal in the diurnal-semidiurnal frequency band was roughly 10-20 ngal, but the only signal detected was a 9 ngal signal of 9.54 hr period whose origin remains unexplained. Two of the earthquakes were chosen because of claims that core undertones were excited following these events, and it is established that signals of the required amplitude, if they exist, can only be associated with a few spherical harmonic patterns for which the Brussels instrument is near an antinode. We also used NCAR barometric data to correct the gravity recordings for the effects of atmospheric pressure variations, which reduces the noise level in the diurnal-semidiurnal frequency band by 2-3 dB.

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.

Agnew, D.  1987.  The continuous measurement of crustal deformation. Methods of experimental physics 24, Part B, Geophysics. Field measurements. ( Sammis CG, Henyey TL, Celotta R, Eds.).:409-439., London; New-York: Academic press ; Abstract
Wyatt, FK, Agnew DC, Gladwin M.  1994.  Continuous Measurements of Crustal Deformation for the 1992 Landers Earthquake Sequence. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 84:768-779. AbstractWebsite

We describe, and attempt to interpret, continuous measurements of strains and tilts made at Pinon Flat Observatory (PFO) before, during, and after the Landers and Joshua Tree earthquake sequences. These data show substantial transient deformation following the Landers mainshock, with a total amplitude of several percent of the co-seismic deformation, and a decay time of at least several days. Comparing data from the many types of instruments at PFO allows us to infer possible sources for this deformation. The immediate postseismic transient was nearly the same size on three long-base strainmeters, suggesting either broad-scale deformation or local motion near one part of the observatory. The latter can largely be ruled out by the similarity of many other measurements in the area covered by these strainmeters and the observations by others of significant postseismic displacements nearer the source. Possible mechanisms for broad-scale deformation include postseismic fault slip, time-dependent creep in near-surface rocks, and elastic or thermal responses to water-table changes. The first two agree best with the observations from PFO, but if postseismic fault slip is the source, it must have been distributed differently than the co-seismic slip, and may have included faults other than those that ruptured seismically. If one of the other mechanisms is the main source, the PFO data imply that the postseismic slip must have been very much smaller than the seismic slip, perhaps 2% or less. No significant preseismic deformation was observed, at a level of 2 X 10(-3) of the co-seismic deformation, for the days to minutes before the earthquake.

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.

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.