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Strong motion displacement waveforms using 10-Hz precise point positioning GPS: an assessment based on free oscillation experiments

Authors

  • Fanis Moschas,

    1. Laboratory of Geodesy and Geodetic Applications, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
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  • Antonio Avallone,

    1. Centro Nazionale Terremoti, Istituto Nationale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, INGV, Rome, Italy
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  • Vasso Saltogianni,

    1. Laboratory of Geodesy and Geodetic Applications, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
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  • Stathis C. Stiros

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Geodesy and Geodetic Applications, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
    • Correspondence to: Stathis Stiros, Laboratory of Geodesy and Geodetic Applications, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Patras, Patras 26500 Greece.

      E-mail: stiros@upatras.gr

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SUMMARY

The recently developed precise point positioning (PPP) technique permits to compute instantaneous coordinates of a GPS station relatively to distant reference stations and waveforms of ground displacements during strong motions at the 1 Hz level. This is another application of GPS, different from the computation of static coseismic movements or of accurate monitoring of dynamic displacements of structures using a static receiver and a nearby moving receiver (DGPS). Recently, earthquake ground displacement waveforms using 10-Hz GPS data have also been calculated, but no independent evidence to assess their quality exists. To overcome this problem, we evaluated the output of 10-Hz PPP results on the basis of supervised learning experiments. Semistatic and dynamic displacements (damped harmonic oscillations) of known characteristics of the order of a few centimeter were produced and were recorded by GPS, an accelerometer, and a robotic total station. Time series of instantaneous displacements were analyzed using different PPP techniques and were compared with reference (true) values derived from DGPS and the other sensors. Our analysis revealed that the PPP-derived coordinates are contaminated by long-period noise but they can display the details of semistatic displacements, while their short-period component describes well the pattern of waveforms and spectra (at least up to 4 Hz) of dynamic displacements, with up to 20 mm accuracy for isolated points. These results indicate that 10-Hz PPP-GPS is useful for earthquake engineering and can safely be used to reconstruct waveforms of deflections of the ground and of various points on structures during strong motions. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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