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Estimating secular velocities from GPS data contaminated by postseismic motion at sites with limited pre-earthquake data

Jessica R. Murray, & Jerry Svarc

Published August 12, 2016, SCEC Contribution #6647, 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #154

Constant secular velocities estimated from Global Positioning System (GPS)-derived position time series are a central input for modeling interseismic deformation in seismically active regions. Both postseismic motion and temporally correlated noise produce long-period signals that are difficult to separate from secular motion and can bias velocity estimates. For GPS sites installed post-earthquake it is especially challenging to uniquely estimate velocities and postseismic signals and to determine when the postseismic transient has decayed sufficiently to enable use of subsequent data for estimating secular rates.

Within 60 km of the 2003 M6.5 San Simeon and 2004 M6 Parkfield earthquakes in California, 16 continuous GPS sites (group 1) were established prior to mid-2001, and 52 stations (group 2) were installed following the events. We use group 1 data to investigate how early in the post-earthquake time period one may reliably begin using group 2 data to estimate velocities. For each group 1 time series, we obtain eight velocity estimates using observation time windows with successively later start dates (2006 – 2013) and a parameterization that includes constant velocity, annual, and semi-annual terms but no postseismic decay. We compare these to velocities estimated using only pre-San Simeon data to find when the pre- and post-earthquake velocities match within uncertainties. To obtain realistic velocity uncertainties, for each time series we optimize a temporally correlated noise model consisting of white, flicker, random walk, and, in some cases, band-pass filtered noise contributions. Preliminary results suggest velocities can be reliably estimated using data from 2011 to the present. Ongoing work will assess velocity bias as a function of epicentral distance and length of post-earthquake time series.

Key Words
Geodesy, Community Geodetic Model

Murray, J. R., & Svarc, J. (2016, 08). Estimating secular velocities from GPS data contaminated by postseismic motion at sites with limited pre-earthquake data. Poster Presentation at 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Tectonic Geodesy