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Journal Article
Berger, J, Agnew DC, Parker RL, Farrell WE.  1979.  Seismic System Calibration 2. Cross-Spectral Calibration Using Random Binary Signals. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 69:271-288. AbstractWebsite
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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.

Elkhoury, JE, Brodsky EE, Agnew DC.  2006.  Seismic waves increase permeability. Nature. 441:1135-1138.   10.1038/nature04798   AbstractWebsite

Earthquakes have been observed to affect hydrological systems in a variety of ways-water well levels can change dramatically, streams can become fuller and spring discharges can increase at the time of earthquakes(1-7). Distant earthquakes may even increase the permeability in faults(8). Most of these hydrological observations can be explained by some form of permeability increase(1,5). Here we use the response of water well levels to solid Earth tides to measure permeability over a 20-year period. At the time of each of seven earthquakes in Southern California, we observe transient changes of up to 24 degrees in the phase of the water level response to the dilatational volumetric strain of the semidiurnal tidal components of wells at the Pinon Flat Observatory in Southern California. After the earthquakes, the phase gradually returns to the background value at a rate of less than 0.1 degrees per day. We use a model of axisymmetric flow driven by an imposed head oscillation through a single, laterally extensive, confined, homogeneous and isotropic aquifer to relate the phase response to aquifer properties(9). We interpret the changes in phase response as due to changes in permeability. At the time of the earthquakes, the permeability at the site increases by a factor as high as three. The permeability increase depends roughly linearly on the amplitude of seismic-wave peak ground velocity in the range of 0.21-2.1 cm s(-1). Such permeability increases are of interest to hydrologists and oil reservoir engineers as they affect fluid flow and might determine long-term evolution of hydrological and oil-bearing systems. They may also be interesting to seismologists, as the resulting pore pressure changes can affect earthquakes by changing normal stresses on faults(10).

Agnew, DC, Farrell WE.  1978.  Self-Consistent Equilibrium Ocean Tides. Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 55:171-181.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.1978.tb04755.x   AbstractWebsite

We compute the static response of the world ocean to an external zonal gravitational potential. The computation includes the effects of the self-attraction of the ocean, and the yielding of the Earth caused both by the external potential and the change in ocean load. We compare the computed tide with measurements of the fortnightly and monthly ocean tides. The short-wavelength departures from equilibrium found by Wunsch are still present. An average of observations at Pacific islands shows that the fortnightly tide departs significantly from equilibrium but the monthly may not. We have also calculated the effects of our computed tide on measurements of tidal gravity and tidal fluctuations in the length of day. Existing tidal gravity data are too imprecise to enable us to determine whether or not the spatial average of the ocean tides departs from equilibrium. The length of day data suggest that the monthly tide is farther from equilibrium than the fortnightly. We have not been able to resolve the apparent discrepancy between the length of day and ocean tide data.

Wyatt, FK, Morrissey ST, Agnew DC.  1988.  Shallow Borehole Tilt - A Reprise. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth and Planets. 93:9197-9201.   10.1029/JB093iB08p09197   AbstractWebsite

We describe results from nearly a decade of tilt measurements produced by two arrays of shallow borehole tiltmeters: one in a semiarid environment at Piñon Flat Observatory (PFO), California (depth of burial 4.5 m) and the other in a maritime-Arctic environment at Adak, Alaska (depth of burial 2 m). Although renovation and reinstallation of the instruments at the two sites reduced thermal noise, it did not change the secular records significantly. This implies that the large tilts observed reflect instability of the ground rather than the sensor, so that deeper installations should give better results. The PFO data show large rainfall-related tilts (caused by near-surface weathering) and also periodic temperature-related tilts (from several thermoelastic effects). The Adak data are dominated by tilts from the annual temperature cycle (though by a smaller amount than at PFO), but at other frequencies they show essentially the same power levels as at PFO. Both data sets confirm earlier results that burial at such shallow depths, even in apparently stable material, is inadequate for the measurement of tectonic tilts.

Inbal, A, Cristea-Platon T, Ampuero JP, Hillers G, Agnew D, Hough SE.  2018.  Sources of long-range anthropogenic noise in Southern California and implications for tectonic tremor detection. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 108:3511-3527.   10.1785/0120180130   AbstractWebsite

We study anthropogenic noise sources seen on seismic recordings along the central section of the San Jacinto fault near Anza, southern California. The strongest signals are caused by freight trains passing through the Coachella Valley north of Anza. Train-induced transients are observed at distances of up to 50 km from the railway, with durations of up to 20 min, and spectra that are peaked between 3 and 5 Hz. Additionally, truck traffic through the Coachella Valley generates a sustained hum with a similar spectral signature as the train transients but with lower amplitude. We also find that wind turbine activity in northern Baja California introduces a seasonal modulation of 1- to 5-Hz energy across the Anza network. We show that the observed train-generated transients can be used to constrain shallow attenuation structure at Anza. Using the results from this study as well as available borehole data, we further evaluate the performance of approaches that have been used to detect nonvolcanic tremor at Anza. We conclude that signals previously identified as spontaneous tremor (Hutchison and Ghosh, 2017) were probably generated by other nontectonic sources such as trains.

Bock, Y, Wdowinski S, Fang P, Zhang J, Williams S, Johnson H, Behr J, Genrich J, Dean J, vanDomselaar M, Agnew D, Wyatt F, Stark K, Oral B, Hudnut K, King R, Herring T, Dinardo S, Young W, Jackson D, Gurtner W.  1997.  Southern California Permanent GPS Geodetic Array: Continuous measurements of regional crustal deformation between the 1992 Landers and 1994 Northridge earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 102:18013-18033.   10.1029/97jb01379   AbstractWebsite

The southern California Permanent GPS Geodetic Array (PGGA) was established in 1990 across the Pacific-North America plate boundary to continuously monitor crustal deformation. We describe the development of the array and the time series of daily positions estimated for its first 10 sites in the 19-month period between the June 28, 1992 (M-W = 7.3), Landers and January 17, 1994 (M-W = 6.7), Northridge earthquakes. We compare displacement rates at four site locations with those reported by Feigl et al. [1993], which were derived from an independent set of Global Positioning System (GPS) and very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) measurements collected over nearly a decade prior to the Landers earthquake. The velocity differences for three sites 65-100 km from the earthquake's epicenter are of order of 3-5 mm/yr and are systematically coupled with the corresponding directions of coseismic displacement. The fourth site, 300 km from the epicenter, shows no significant velocity difference. These observations suggest large-scale postseismic deformation with a relaxation time of at least 800 days. The statistical significance of our observations is complicated by our incomplete knowledge of the noise properties of the two data sets; two possible noise models fit the PGGA data equally well as described in the companion paper by Zhang et al. [this issue]; the pre-landers data are too sparse and heterogeneous to derive a reliable noise model. Under a fractal white noise model for the PGGA data we find that the velocity differences for all three sites are statistically different at the 99% significance level. A white noise plus flicker noise model results in significance levels of only 94%, 43%, and 88%. Additional investigations of the pre-landers data, and analysis of longer spans of PGGA data, could have an important effect on the significance of these results and will be addressed in future work.

Feigl, KL, Agnew DC, Bock Y, Dong D, Donnellan A, Hager BH, Herring TA, Jackson DD, Jordan TH, King RW, Larsen S, Larson KM, Murray MH, Shen ZK, Webb FH.  1993.  Space Geodetic Measurement of Crustal Deformation in Central and Southern California, 1984-1992. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 98:21677-21712.   10.1029/93jb02405   AbstractWebsite

We estimate the velocity field in central and southern California using Global Positioning System (GPS) observations from 1986 to 1992 and very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations from 1984 to 1991. OUT core network includes 12 GPS sites spaced approximately 50 km apart, mostly in the western Transverse Ranges and the coastal Borderlands. The precision and accuracy of the relative horizontal velocities estimated for these core stations are adequately described by a 95% confidence ellipse with a semiminor axis of approximately 2 mm/yr oriented roughly north-south, and a semimajor axis of approximately 3 mm/yr oriented east-west. For other stations, occupied fewer than 5 times, or occupied during experiments with poor tracking geometries, the uncertainty is larger. These uncertainties are calibrated by analyzing the scatter in three types of comparisons: (1) multiple measurements of relative position (''repeatability''), (2) independent velocity estimates from separate analyses of the GPS and VLBI data, and (3) rates of change in baseline length estimated from the joint GPS+VLBI solution and from a comparison of GPS with trilateration. The dominant tectonic signature in the velocity field is shear deformation associated with the San Andreas and Garlock faults, which we model as resulting from slip below a given locking depth. Removing the effects of this simple model from the observed velocity field reveals residual deformation that is not attributable to the San Andreas fault. Baselines spanning the eastern Santa Barbara Channel, the Ventura basin, the Los Angeles basin, and the Santa Maria Fold and Thrust Belt are shortening at rates of up to 5 +/- 1, 5 +/- 1, 5 +/- 1, and 2 +/- 1 mm/yr, respectively. North of the Big Bend, some compression normal to the trace of the San Andreas fault can be resolved on both sides of the fault. The rates of rotation about vertical axes in the residual geodetic velocity field differ by up to a factor of 2 from those inferred from paleomagnetic declinations. Our estimates indicate that the ''San Andreas discrepancy'' can be resolved to within the 3 mm/yr uncertainties by accounting for deformation in California between Vandenberg (near Point Conception) and the westernmost Basin and Range. Strain accumulation of 1-2 mm/yr on structures offshore of Vandenberg is also allowed by the uncertainties. South of the Transverse Ranges, the deformation budget must include 5 mm/yr between the offshore islands and the mainland.

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.

Riedesel, MA, Agnew D, Berger J, Gilbert F.  1980.  Stacking for the frequencies and Qs of 0S0 and 1S0. Geophysical Journal International. 62:457-471.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.1980.tb04867.x   AbstractWebsite

Using nine IDA records for the Indonesian earthquake of 1977 August 19, we have formed an optimal linear combination of the records and have measured the frequency and Q of 0S0 and 1S0. The frequency was measured using the moment ratio method. The attenuation was measured by the minimum width method and by the time-lapse method. The frequency and attenuation were measured simultaneously by varying them to obtain a best fit to the data. A 2000-hr stack, the sum of nine individual records, for 0S0 gave a frequency of 0.814664 mHz±4 ppm. The values for the Q of 0S0 for the three different methods of measurement were 5600,5833 and 5700, respectively. The error in the estimates of Q-1 is about 5 per cent for the minimum power method. For 1S0 a 300-hr stack yielded a frequency of 1.63151 mHz±30 ppm. The values of Q for this mode were 1960, 1800 and 1850, respectively, with an error in Q-1 of about 12 per cent for the minimum power method.

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.  1986.  Strainmeters and Tiltmeters. Reviews of Geophysics. 24:579-624. AbstractWebsite
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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.

Hart, RHG, Gladwin MT, Gwyther RL, Agnew DC, Wyatt FK.  1996.  Tidal calibration of borehole strain meters: Removing the effects of small-scale inhomogeneity. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 101:25553-25571.   10.1029/96jb02273   AbstractWebsite

We investigate the estimation of Earth strain from borehole strain meter data in a study of tidal calibration of the Gladwin borehole tensor strain meter (BTSM) at Pinon Flat. Small-scale geological inhomogeneity is one of several effects examined that cross couple remote areal/shear strain into measured areal/shear strain. A methodology is developed for incorporating cross coupling into the strain meter calibration. Using the measured strain tides from the colocated laser strain meter (LSM) as a reference, we show that calibration of the BTSM with cross coupling removes systematic errors of up to 30% in the borehole strain meter tides. This calibration accurately relates the BTSM measurements to strains at the scale length of the LSM, about 1 km. The calibration technique provides a solution to a major criticism of all short-baseline strain measurements, namely, that tectonic strains are not representatively sampled due to small-scale inhomogeneities. The technique removes errors potentially greater than 50% in observed strain offsets from fault slip, permitting improved constraint of slip mechanisms. We show that current theoretical estimates of strain tides in the instrument locality are not yet of sufficient accuracy for cross-coupled calibration. Comparison of theoretical tides with measurements from the LSM suggest that at least half of the error is in the ocean load tide estimates.

Liu, HP, Sembera ED, Westerlund RE, Fletcher JB, Reasenberg P, Agnew DC.  1985.  Tidal Variation of Seismic Travel-Times in a massachusetts Granite Quarry. Geophysical Research Letters. 12:243-246.   10.1029/GL012i005p00243   AbstractWebsite

Conflicting results on tidal variation of seismic travel times exist in the literature. With improved methods, we have conducted a seismic survey at a Massachusetts granite quarry. The survey was conducted in the intervals (230d 23h, 231d11h) and (231d22h, 233d10h), 1983 (U.T.) along a 148 m baseline situated in nearly flat topography. The source for the present experiment was an air gun placed in a mud-filled pit. Travel times for the first five body wave extrema were analyzed. The results are: I. The 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th extrema show travel time variations; the 3rd extremum remains constant throughout the experiment. The magnitude of the fractional travel time variation, Δt/t, ranges from 0.5 to 0.9%. II. Changes in travel times of the 1st and 2nd extrema correspond to opposite changes in travel times of the 4th and 5th extrema. III. Two sets of nearly orthogonal joint systems are observed in the granite; the theoretical tidal strain in the direction perpendicular to the nearly vertical joints matches the travel time variations of the 1st and 2nd extrema whereas the tidal strain in the direction perpendicular to the nearly horizontal sheets matches the travel time variations of the 4th and 5th extrema, when a 4-hr delay is introduced for all the tidal strains. These results are interpreted in terms of the velocity changes of seismic rays as the two joint systems open and close due to the tidal stress.

Agnew, DC.  1992.  The Time-Domain Behavior of Power-Law Noises. Geophysical Research Letters. 19:333-336.   10.1029/91gl02832   AbstractWebsite

The power spectra of many geophysical phenomena are well approximated by a power-law dependence on frequency or wavenumber. I derive a simple expression for the root-mean-square variability of a process with such a spectrum over an interval of time or space. The resulting expression yields the power-law time dependence characteristic of fractal processes, but can be generalized to give the temporal variability for more general spectral behaviors. The method is applied to spectra of crustal strain (to show what size of strain events can be detected over periods of months to seconds) and of sea level (to show the difficulty of extracting long-term rates from short records).

Shen, ZK, King RW, Agnew DC, Wang M, Herring TA, Dong D, Fang P.  2011.  A unified analysis of crustal motion in Southern California, 1970-2004: The SCEC crustal motion map. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 116   10.1029/2011jb008549   AbstractWebsite

To determine crustal motions in and around southern California, we have processed and combined trilateration data collected from 1970 to 1992, VLBI data from 1979 to 1992, and GPS data from 1986 to 2004: a long temporal coverage required in part by the occurrence of several large earthquakes in this region. From a series of solutions for station positions, we have estimated interseismic velocities, coseismic displacements, and postseismic motions. Within the region from 31 N to 38 N. and east to 114 W, the final product includes estimated horizontal velocities for 1009 GPS, 190 trilateration, and 16 VLBI points, with ties between some of these used to stabilize the solution. All motions are relative to the Stable North American Reference Frame (SNARF) as realized through the velocities of 20 GPS stations. This provides a relatively dense set of horizontal velocity estimates, with well-tested errors, for the past quarter century over the plate boundary from 31 N to 36.5 N. These velocities agree well with those from the Plate Boundary Observatory, which apply to a later time period. We also estimated vertical velocities, 533 of which have errors below 2 mm/yr. Most of these velocities are less than 1 mm/yr, but they show 2-4 mm/yr subsidence in the Ventura and Los Angeles basins and in the Salton Trough. Our analysis also included estimates of coseismic and postseismic motions related to the 1992 Landers, 1994 Northridge, 1999 Hector Mine, and 2003 San Simeon earthquakes. Postseismic motions increase logarithmically over time with a time constant of about 10 days, and generally mimic the direction and relative amplitude of the coseismic offsets.

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.

Agnew, DC.  2014.  Variable star symbols for seismicity plots. Seismological Research Letters. 85:775-780.   10.1785/0220130214   AbstractWebsite
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Agnew, DC, Berger J.  1978.  Vertial Seismic Noise at Very Low-Frequencies. Journal of Geophysical Research. 83:5420-5424.   10.1029/JB083iB11p05420   AbstractWebsite

We use records from the Project IDA modified LaCoste gravimeters to investigate ground noise at. frequencies from 1 to 10 mHz. At most sites the level between 2 and 10 mHz is nearly flat and close to 2 × 10−18 m2 s−3 Much higher values which are observed at island and coastal stations are due to loading by waves trapped along the shore. Data from the superconducting gravimeter at Piñon Flat Geophysical Observatory show that the noise power increases as ƒ−2.7 for frequencies between 1 and 0.001 mHz.