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Agnew, DC.  1978.  1852 Fort Yuma Earthquake - 2 Additional Accounts. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 68:1761-1762. AbstractWebsite
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Legg, M, Agnew D.  1979.  The 1862 earthquake in San Diego. Earthquake and Other perils: San Diego region. ( Abbott PL, Elliott WJ, Eds.).:139-141., San Diego: San Diego Association of Geologists Abstract
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Agnew, DC, Wyatt FK.  1989.  The 1987 Superstition Hills Earthquake Sequence - Strains and Tilts at Pinon Flat Observatory. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 79:480-492. AbstractWebsite
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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.

Gomberg, J, Agnew D.  1996.  The accuracy of seismic estimates of dynamic strains: An evaluation using strainmeter and seismometer data from Pinon Flat Observatory, California. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 86:212-220. AbstractWebsite

The dynamic strains associated with seismic waves may play a significant role in earthquake triggering, hydrological and magmatic changes, earthquake damage, and ground failure. We determine how accurately dynamic strains may be estimated from seismometer data and elastic-wave theory by comparing such estimated strains with strains measured on a three-component long-base strainmeter system at Pinon Flat, California. We quantify the uncertainties and errors through cross-spectral analysis of data from three regional earthquakes (the M(0) = 4 x 10(17) N-m St. George, Utah; M(0) = 4 X 10(17) N-m Little Skull Mountain, Nevada; and M(0) 1 x 10(19) N-m Northridge, California, events at distances of 470, 345, and 206 km, respectively). Our analysis indicates that in most cases the phase of the estimated strain matches that of the observed strain quite well (to within the uncertainties, which are about +/-0.1 to +/-0.2 cycles). However, the amplitudes are often systematically off, at levels exceeding the uncertainties (about 20%); in one case, the predicted strain amplitudes are nearly twice those observed. We also observe significant epsilon(phi phi) strains (phi = tangential direction), which should be zero theoretically; in the worst case, the rms epsilon(phi phi) Strain exceeds the other nonzero components. These nonzero epsilon(phi phi) strains cannot be caused by deviations of the surface-wave propagation paths from the expected azimuth or by departures from the plane-wave approximation. We believe that distortion of the strain field by topography or material heterogeneities give rise to these complexities.

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.

Larson, KM, Webb FH, Agnew DC.  1991.  Application of the Global Positioning System to Crustal Deformation Measurement 2. The Influence of Errors in Orbit Determination Networks. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 96:16567-16584.   10.1029/91jb01276   AbstractWebsite

Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of a geodetic network in southern and central California have been used to investigate the errors introduced by adopting different sets of stations as fixed. Such fixed points, called fiducial stations, are necessary to eliminate the errors of imprecise satellites orbits, which otherwise would dominate the error budget for distances greater than tens of kilometers. These fiducial stations also define the reference frame of the crustal deformation network. Establishing the magnitude of the effect of changing the fiducial network is essential for crustal deformation studies, so that these artifacts of the differences between fiducial networks used for the data analyses are not interpreted as geophysical signals. Solutions for a crustal deformation network spanning distances up to 350 km were computed with a variety of fiducial networks. We use fiducial coordinates determined from very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). We compare these solutions by computing the equivalent uniform strain and rotation that best maps one solution into another. If we use a continental-scale fiducial network with good geometry, the distortions between the solutions are about 10(-8), largely independent of the exact choice of stations. The one case of a large-scale fiducial network where the distortions are larger is when the three fiducial stations chosen all lie close to a great circle. Use of a fiducial network no larger than the crustal deformation network can produce apparent strains of up to 10(-7). Our work suggests that fiducial coordinates determined from GPS data analysis may be used, although they should be determined using a consistent reference frame, such as provided by VLBI and satellite laser ranging.

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.

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Agnew, DC.  2007.  Before PBO: an overview of continuous strain and tilt measurements in the United States. Journal of the geodetic Society of Japan. 53:157-182. Abstract
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Wyatt, F, Agnew D, Linde A, Sacks IS.  1983.  Borehole Stranimeter studies in Pinon flat observatory. Carnegie Institute of Washington, Yearbook 82, Washington DC. :533-538. Abstract
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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
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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
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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.

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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.

Agnew, DC, Hodgkinson K.  2007.  Designing compact causal digital filters for low-frequency strainmeter data. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 97:91-99.   10.1785/0120060088   AbstractWebsite

For the strainmeter component of the Plate Boundary Observatory, filters are needed to produce low-frequency series (5-minute samples) from the higher-frequency (1 Hz) data generated by the instruments. We present design methods for finding filters that are efficient, causal, and compact. We use standard methods for generating symmetric finite impulse response filters, followed by root finding, selection of roots, and reconstruction of the weights, using procedures that make these processes numerically stable. The final filters show appropriate performance even in the presence of large teleseismic signals, but introduce unavoidable artifacts for strain data from large local earthquakes.