A serendipitous discovery by a University of Colorado at Boulder-led team has shown for the first time that satellite signals from the Global Positioning System are a valuable new tool for studying seismic activity.
CU-Boulder Associate Professor Kristine Larson of aerospace engineering sciences said seismic waves from a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Alaskas Denali National Park in November 2002 were detected using Global Positioning Satellite, or GPS, receivers as far away as 2,350 miles from the event. The quake also was picked up by scores of GPS receivers in Canada and the United States.
GPS is a constellation of satellites originally designed by the U.S. military to provide precise positions of ships, tanks, airplanes, other military equipment and even people. Currently there are 27 GPS satellites orbiting Earth at roughly 12,500 miles above the planet.
Kristine Larson | EurekAlert!
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