Towards global space geodetic mapping of the dynamic deformation field after great earthquakes

Gyula Grenerczy*, Tamás Jámbor, Seth Stein, Péter Farkas, Marcell Ferenc

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GPS systems can be used as seismometers by sampling ground positions to detect travelling seismic waves. Data from dense geodetic networks near large earthquakes have been used to improve magnitude estimates, for tsunami warning, and to better understand the rupture processes. Here, we present 1 Hz GPS records of the March 11th, 2011, Mw = 9.0 Tohoku earthquake at unprecedented teleseismic distances. The spatial and temporal variations of the three-dimensional GPS displacement vector field show various body waves, Love and Rayleigh surface waves along the direct path, and Love waves from the more than 31 000 km long major arc path. These results suggest that seismic wavefields can be mapped at teleseismic distances globally using space geodesy and could thus be used for source and structural studies. Data from numerous real-time kinematic GPS networks could be combined to show the displacement field, giving unparalleled views of Earth's response to large earthquakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalTerra Nova
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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