UNAVCO, a non-profit university-governed consortium, facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy. UNAVCO is a National Science Foundation-funded Earth Science Geodetic Facility that manages the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) with ~1100 GPS stations and analyzes an additional 600+ stations from other public networks. Additionally we provide engineering, instrumentation, data services, and education and workforce training with broad societal benefits. Through community requests and collaborations, UNAVCO and the geodetic community have developed a growing suite of data products, data download and exploration tools, and Google Earth kmz files applicable to multiple geoscience fields. Originally installed to measure deformation of the western United States, data from PBO and the GPS satellite radio signals are also used to derive atmospheric and environmental data products. The following provides a few of the many examples of the applications of high-precision GPS data.
GPS stations and other PBO instruments directly measure long-term tectonic motion, tracking surface deformation at time scales from seconds to minutes to days to years. Geophysical applications of the data include interseismic deformation, seismic waves, earthquake offsets, post-seismic deformation, slow slip, and volcanic inflation/deflation. GPS instruments also measure hydrologically driven deformation and can be compared to models of displacements derived from land surface models (LSM) to obtain loads in kg/m2 for monthly snowpack, soil moisture, and total canopy water storage (vegetation). These models are available as data downloads from UNAVCO and through community-developed map-viewing tools. The radio signals transmitted by GPS satellites are further used to study the atmosphere and local conditions around the GPS site. Atmospheric data products include precipitable water vapor measurements available in map view (through NCAR), surface meteorological measurements at selected stations, vegetation index, and tropospheric models. Other data types also available through UNAVCO include Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), strainmeter, tiltmeter, and seismic data; new initiatives such as the EarthCube EarthCollab and GeoWS projects will provide better interconnection with community and national organizations and their data.
This presentation will focus on the suite of products and tools freely available and include examples of applications to real world research and data exploration. We welcome input on the products’ usefulness and suggestions for improving the products and tools to explore and display the data.