Accuracy of high-rate GPS for seismology



[1] We built a device for translating a GPS antenna on a positioning table to simulate the ground motions caused by an earthquake. The earthquake simulator is accurate to better than 0.1 mm in position, and provides the "ground truth" displacements for assessing the technique of high-rate GPS. We found that the root-mean-square error of the 1-Hz GPS position estimates over the 15-min duration of the simulated seismic event was 2.5 mm, with approximately 96% of the observations in error by less than 5 mm, and is independent of GPS antenna motion. The error spectrum of the GPS estimates is approximately flicker noise, with a 50% decorrelation time for the position error of ∼1.6 s. We find that, for the particular event simulated, the spectrum of surface deformations exceeds the GPS error spectrum within a finite band. More studies are required to determine whether a generally optimal bandwidth exists for a target group of seismic events.