Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new network of GPS stations to measure movement of the earth’s crust

05.04.2007
This new cross-border network is the first of its kind and was devised to determine the changes in the earth’s crust that are the source of earthquakes and that form the Alpine region’s relief. This system is comprised of 40 fixed high-resolution, continual recording GPS (1) stations. With submillimetric precision (2), the network will also be highly useful for all professionals who work with GPS.

One aim of this project is to increase understanding of seismic risks throughout the Alpine chain and the surrounding regions. Urban zones in full development, as well as some major European centres (Grenoble, Geneva, Torino,…), are concentrated along the mountain chain. Thanks to this new network of GPS stations, it will be possible to continuously measure slow (3) and low amplitude movements in the earth’s crust with great precision. The information provided by the network, added to geologic data on of the fault zones, will contribute to a better localisation of potential seismic sites, their size and their consequences in terms of expected damages in the Alpine region.

The project, begun three years ago, was implemented by 12 partners, including 2 in France: the Laboratory of Internal Geophysics and Tectonophysics (4) at the University Joseph Fournier in Grenoble and the Strasbourg Institute of Earth Physics (5) (IPGS) at the University Louis Pasteur (ULP) in Strasbourg. The IPGS brought its expertise in characterising active faults for seismic risk and measuring deformations with high precision spatial geodetics (6) (GPS).

Of the 40 stations located in the Alpine region, 5 have been acquired by the IPGS thanks to co-funding from the Région Alsace, the CNRS and the European programme Interreg III B – Alpine region. These 5 stations are installed in Alsace on geological sites that meet the specific criteria necessary for such high precision. They complement the 2 existing stations, STJ9 and WELS (7) of ULP’s Earth science Engineering School and Observatory (EOST).

In Alsace, the new GPS network will also be very useful for all potential users of geodesic data on local communities. Cadastral services (property management), surveyors (urban planning, regional development), network managers (water, gas, and telecommunications), cartographers, civil security services, as well as agriculture (land plotting), navigation, transportation, and meteorological services will all find the information highly useful.

1) GPS (Global positioning system) : Geodesic spatial system, that allows three-dimensional positioning (latitude, longtitude, altitude) as well as measurement of time. It has been operational since 1994 ; with 24 satellites, it guarantees full coverage of the globe 24 hours a day.

2) Submillimetric precision: positioning under one millimetre.

3) Slow movements: “slow“ movement is more difficult to study than the “rapid“ movement typical of tectonic regions such as the San Andreas Fault (California) or the Anatolian Fault in Turkey.

4) Joint research unit CNRS/UJF, UMR 5559.

5) Joint research unit CNRS/ULP, UMR 7516.

6) Geodetics: the science that studies the form and dimensions of the earth.

7) STJ9 and WELS: These two stations are part of the observational network of the EOST. STJ9 benefits from support from the Région Alsace. These stations are part of France’s national GPS network (RENAG) of the National Institute for the Sciences of the Universe (CNRS) and the French GPS permanent network (RGP).

Research Contact:
Dr. Jerome van der Woerd
Tél. 03 90 24 03 49
jeromev@eost.u-strasbg.fr

Isabel Pellon Zarragoitia | alfa
Further information:
http://www.u-strasbg.fr

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>