Earthquake geodesy and hazard monitoring

Kenneth W. Hudnut

Published 1995, SCEC Contribution #237

Catastrophic events such as major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions result when the earth's crust fails in response to accumulated deformation. The accumulation of deformation results from ongoing processes such as aseismic deformation of subcrustal rock associated with relative plate motions, or the ascent of magma through a volcanic plumbing system. Geodetic measurements document the crustal deformation leading to these failures and the deformation resulting from them, providing unique insight into the physical processes involved. By virtue of the space and time domains of ground deformation detected with geodetic measurements, geodesy is a useful tool in monitoring active tectonic and volcanic regimes. For a wide range of natural events including earthquakes, aseismic fault motions, and volcanic events, geodetic measurements constrain physical models of the processes that cause such events. Because these geodetic studies probe the underlying processes leading to and culminating in catastrophic natural events, many such studies are directly applicable to earthquake and volcano hazard assessment.

Key Words
global positioning system, Loma-Prieta Earthquake, 28 June 1992, crustal deformation, central Japan, Southern California, surface deformation, Lander earthquake, subduction zone, epicentral area

Hudnut, K. W. (1995). Earthquake geodesy and hazard monitoring. Reviews of Geophysics, 33(S1), 249-255. doi: 10.1029/95RG00406 .