Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

GPS technology aids earthquake research

08.11.2002


Scientists’ understanding of the movement of the Earth’s crust is being helped by new observing facility which is taking measurements that may one day help predict earthquakes.



Newcastle University’s School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences has become only one of two UK centres feeding Global Positioning System (GPS) data into the International GPS Service (IGS), which researchers and professionals throughout the world – including geophysicists - can access via the Internet. The other centre is the Royal Greenwich Observatory in Herstmonceux, East Sussex.

The data is collected via a GPS station 20 miles north of the city, at the University’s farm, Cockle Park, in Morpeth, Northumberland, which had to meet stringent IGS standards. The distances between a circular antenna and and the GPS satellites above are measured every 15 seconds. The antenna, which is 40cm across and 15cm high, is firmly fixed in a 4.5 tonne slab of 300 million year old sandstone from Yorkshire, which is in turn embedded almost three metres into the earth.


The information is automatically downloaded hourly into a computer which quickly checks the data for accuracy before transmitting it to the IGS. Over 200 sites across the world are transmitting data on a regular basis with the Newcastle antenna being the most north westerly in Europe.

The antenna gives more accurate measurements than the average GPS system because it is very stable, being firmly embedded into the earth. It will be able to gauge movements in the Earth’s crust in the North East of England, as when the Earth moves, the antenna moves with it - causing the measurements between it and the satellites to alter.

The highly accurate data could also help meteorological forecasts for the North East.

Distances between the antenna and the GPS satellites appear longer when there is water vapour in the atmosphere, as it can take a greater period of time for signals to be transmitted. These measurements can be used to compile weather forecasts.

Surveyors and other professionals taking less accurate GPS measurements in the field are likely to use this as a reference point against which they can check their own data. It is already being used in a number of university research projects involving GPS, such as the monitoring of North Sea oil platform subsidence.

Researcher Matt King said: “The recent earthquakes in Manchester and Italy have highlighted our need to better understand the movement of the Earth`s crust in England. Experience in California has shown that GPS measurements can make a valuable contribution to this understanding.

“The near real-time transmission of the data may also mean better weather forecasts for the region.

Dr King added: “The data submitted to the IGS is used to define the fundamental reference frame on which all modern survey measurements are based. Consequently, anyone making use of surveying or mapping products, such as Ordnance Survey maps, will benefit from this new project.”

Claire Jordan | alfa
Further information:
http://igscb.jpl.nasa.gov/
http://www.ceg.ncl.ac.uk/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht How much biomass grows in the savannah?
16.02.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change, UCI study shows
15.02.2017 | University of California - Irvine

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tune your radio: galaxies sing while forming stars

21.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Improved Speech Intelligibility and Automatic Speech-to-Text Conversion for Call Centers

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

36 big data research projects

21.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>