Publications

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2019
Wang, MH, Wang JX, Bock Y, Liang H, Dong DA, Fang P.  2019.  Dynamic mapping of the movement of landfalling atmospheric rivers over Southern California with GPS data. Geophysical Research Letters. 46:3551-3559.   10.1029/2018gl081318   AbstractWebsite

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are long, narrow, and transient corridors of strong horizontal water vapor transport that can result in heavy precipitation. Measuring the movement of these concentrated water vapor bands is important in gaining better insight into AR characteristics and forecasts of AR-caused precipitation. We describe a method to dynamically map the movement of landfalling ARs. The method utilizes high-rate GPS observations from a dense network to derive isochrones that represent the AR arrival time over specific locations. The generated isochrones show that the three ARs, during landfall over Southern California in January 2017, moved southeastward and took about 10 hr to pass over the study area. Overlaying the topography with isochrones reveals that the Peninsular Ranges slow the movement of the landfalling ARs. The large spacing between two adjacent isochrones, reflecting fast AR movement, is closely related to the increased hourly rain rate. Plain Language Summary Atmospheric rivers (ARs), "rivers in the sky," are "rivers" of water vapor rather than liquid water. The landfall of ARs can cause extreme rainfall that in turn induces disasters. We present a method with a dense high-rate GPS network to capture the movement of the landfalling ARs over Southern California. For the three landfalling AR cases in January 2017, results show that the ARs moved southeastward and the durations of AR passing over the study area were about 10 hr. The results also reveal that the landfalling AR movement is affected by local terrain and the fast AR movement is closely related to the large hourly rain rate. The use of the method provides a way to study ARs with high spatial-temporal resolution, which is important in gaining better insight into the forecasts of AR-caused rainfall.

2013
Crowell, BW, Bock Y, Sandwell DT, Fialko Y.  2013.  Geodetic investigation into the deformation of the Salton Trough. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 118:5030-5039.   10.1002/jgrb.50347   AbstractWebsite

The Salton Trough represents a complex transition between the spreading center in Baja California and the strike-slip San Andreas fault system and is one of the most active zones of deformation and seismicity in California. We present a high-resolution interseismic velocity field for the Salton Trough derived from 74 continuous GPS sites and 109 benchmarks surveyed in three GPS campaigns during 2008-2009 and previous surveys between 2000 and 2005. We also investigate small-scale deformation by removing the regional velocity field predicted by an elastic block model for Southern California from the observed velocities. We find a total extension rate of 11mm/yr from the Mesquite Basin to the southern edge of the San Andreas Fault, coupled with 15mm/yr of left-lateral shear, the majority of which is concentrated in the southern Salton Sea and Obsidian Buttes and is equivalent to 17mm/yr oriented in the direction of the San Andreas Fault. Differential shear strain is exclusively localized in the Brawley Seismic Zone, and dilatation rate indicates widespread extension throughout the zone. In addition, we infer clockwise rotation of 10 degrees/Ma, consistent with northwestward propagation of the Brawley Seismic Zone over geologic time.

2009
Barbot, S, Fialko Y, Bock Y.  2009.  Postseismic deformation due to the M(w) 6.0 2004 Parkfield earthquake: Stress-driven creep on a fault with spatially variable rate-and-state friction parameters. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 114   10.1029/2008jb005748   AbstractWebsite

We investigate the coseismic and postseismic deformation due to the M(w) 6.0 2004 Parkfield, California, earthquake. We produce coseismic and postseismic slip models by inverting data from an array of 14 continuous GPS stations from the SCIGN network. Kinematic inversions of postseismic GPS data over a time period of 3 years show that afterslip occurred in areas of low seismicity and low coseismic slip, predominantly at a depth of similar to 5 km. Inversions suggest that coseismic stress increases were relaxed by predominantly aseismic afterslip on a fault plane. The kinetics of afterslip is consistent with a velocity-strengthening friction generalized to include the case of infinitesimal velocities. We performed simulations of stress-driven creep using a numerical model that evaluates the time-dependent deformation due to coseismic stress changes in a viscoelastoplastic half-space. Starting with a coseismic slip distribution, we compute the time-dependent evolution of afterslip on a fault plane and the associated displacements at the GPS stations. Data are best explained by a rate-strengthening model with frictional parameter (a - b) = 7 x 10(-3), at a high end of values observed in laboratory experiments. We also find that the geodetic moment due to creep is a factor of 100 greater than the cumulative seismic moment of aftershocks. The rate of aftershocks in the top 10 km of the seismogenic zone mirrors the kinetics of afterslip, suggesting that postearthquake seismicity is governed by loading from the nearby aseismic creep. The San Andreas fault around Parkfield is deduced to have large along-strike variations in rate-and-state frictional properties. Velocity strengthening areas may be responsible for the separation of the coseismic slip in two distinct asperities and for the ongoing aseismic creep occurring between the velocity-weakening patches after the 2004 rupture.

2003
Gonzalez-Garcia, JJ, Prawirodirdjo L, Bock Y, Agnew D.  2003.  Guadalupe Island, Mexico as a new constraint for Pacific plate motion. Geophysical Research Letters. 30   10.1029/2003gl017732   AbstractWebsite

[1] We use GPS data collected on Isla de Guadalupe and in northern Baja California, Mexico, to estimate site velocities relative to Pacific plate motion. The velocities of all three geodetic monuments on Guadalupe fit a rigid Pacific plate model with residuals of 1 mm/yr. Using the Guadalupe data and data from five IGS stations on the Pacific plate ( CHAT, KOKB, KWJ1, MKEA, and THTI) we estimate an angular velocity for this plate that is consistent with other recently-published estimates. Our results indicate that Isla de Guadalupe lies on the Pacific plate, and that GPS data collection on the island usefully constrains Pacific plate motion and rigidity.

2001
Wdowinski, S, Sudman Y, Bock Y.  2001.  Geodetic detection of active faults in S. California. Geophysical Research Letters. 28:2321-2324.   10.1029/2000gl012637   AbstractWebsite

A new analysis of velocities of geodetic markers straddling the San Andreas Fault System in southern California reveals that interseismic deformation is localized along a dozen sub-parallel narrow belts of high shear strain rate that correlate well with active geologic fault segments and locally with concentrated zones of microseismicity. High shear strain rates (0.3-0.95 mu strain/year) are observed northward and southward of the San Andreas fault's big bend, whereas the big bend itself is characterized by a diffuse low magnitude shear strain rate. Dilatational deformation is diffuse and of relatively low magnitude (< 0.2 mu strain/year), with the highest contraction rates occurring in the Ventura and Los Angeles basins. Because no prior assumptions were made regarding the geology, tectonics, or seismicity of the region, our analysis demonstrates that geodetic observations alone can be used to detect active fault segments.

2000
Bock, Y, Nikolaidis RM, de Jonge PJ, Bevis M.  2000.  Instantaneous geodetic positioning at medium distances with the Global Positioning System. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 105:28223-28253.   10.1029/2000jb900268   AbstractWebsite

We evaluate a new method of Global Positioning System (GPS) data analysis, called instantaneous positioning, at spatial scale lengths typical of interstation spacings in a modern crustal motion network. This method is more precise and versatile than traditional GPS static and kinematic processing of multi-epoch batches of data. The key to instantaneous positioning is the ability to resolve integer-cycle phase ambiguities with only a single epoch of dual-frequency phase and pseudorange data, rendering receiver cycle slips irrelevant. We estimate three-dimensional relative coordinates and atmospheric zenith delay parameters independently every 30 s over a 12-week period for baseline distances of 50 m, 14 km: and 37 km. Horizontal precision of a single-epoch coordinate solution is about 15 mm and vertical precision is about 7-8 times worse. Removing that component of each time series which repeats with a period of exactly I sidereal day, and thus manifests signal multipath, reduces the scatter by about 50% in all components. Solution averaging of the high frequency time series can be performed using: ally number of measurement epochs to further improve coordinate precision. We demonstrate that the daily coordinates estimated with instantaneous positioning are more precise (by 20-50% per coordinate component) than those estimated with 24-hour batch processing. Spectral analysis of the single-epoch solutions indicates that the flicker noise characteristic of GPS time series observed in lower-frequency bands also affects GPS solutions in the frequency band 0.01 mHz to 10 mHz. We argue that the flicker noise is induced by tropospheric effects. Since modern GPS receivers are capable of observing at frequencies as high as 10 Hz, our technique significantly overlaps and complements the frequency band of broadband seismology and benefits other research areas such as earthquake geodesy, volcanology, and GPS meteorology.

1994
Hudnut, KW, Bock Y, Cline M, Fang P, Feng Y, Freymueller J, Ge X, Gross WK, Jackson D, Kim M, King NE, Langbein J, Larsen SC, Lisowski M, Shen ZK, Svarc J, Zhang J.  1994.  Coseismic Displacements of the 1992 Landers Earthquake Sequence. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 84:625-645. AbstractWebsite

We present co-seismic displacement vectors derived from Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of 92 stations in southern California. These GPS results are combined with five well-determined GPS displacement vectors from continuously tracking stations of the Permanent GPS Geodetic Array, as well as line-length changes from USGS Geodolite and two-color laser trilateration observations, to determine a self-consistent set of geodetic data for the earthquake. These combined displacements are modeled by an elastic dislocation representation of the primary fault rupture planes. On average, the model residuals are about twice the estimated measurement errors.