Geodetic observation of contemporary strain in the northern Walker Lane: 1, Semi-permanent GPS strategy Academic Article

abstract

  • As of October 2005, the semipermanent Global Positioning System (GPS) network called MAGNET (Mobile Array of GPS for Nevada Transtension) included 60 stations and spanned 160 km (N-S) × 260 km (E-W) across the northern Walker Lane and central Nevada seismic belt. MAGNET was designed as a cheaper, higher-density alternative to permanent networks in order to deliver high-accuracy velocities more rapidly than campaigns. The mean nearest-neighbor spacing is 19 km (13–31 km range). At each site, the design facilitates equipment installation and pickup within minutes, with the antenna mounted precisely at the same location to mitigate eccentricity error and intersession multipath variation. Each site has been occupied ~50% of the time to sample seasonal signals. Using a custom regional filtering technique to process 1.5 yr of intermittent time series, the longest-running sites are assessed to have velocity accuracies of ~1 mm/yr. The mean weekly repeatability is 0.5 mm in longitude, 0.6 mm in latitude, and 2.1 mm in height. Within a few years, MAGNET will characterize strain partitioning in the northern Walker Lane to improve models of (1) geothermal activity, which is largely amagmatic in the Great Basin, (2) seismic hazard, (3) the ways in which northern Walker Lane accommodates strain between the Sierra Nevada block and the extending Basin and Range Province, and (4) Neogene development of the northern Walker Lane and its broader role in the ongoing evolution of the Pacific–North America plate-boundary system. MAGNET's design is generally applicable to regions with an abundance of vehicle-accessible rock outcrops and could be replicated elsewhere.

publication date

  • 2009

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 15