Spatial scale of deformation constrained by combinations of InSAR and GPS observations in Southern California

Monday, 15 December 2014
Rowena B Lohman and Chelsea P Scott, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States
Efforts to understand the buildup and release of strain within the Earth's crust often rely on well-characterized observations of ground deformation, over time scales that include interseismic periods, earthquakes, and transient deformation episodes. Constraints on current rates of surface deformation in 1-, 2- or 3-dimensions can be obtained by examining sets of GPS and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) observations, both alone and in combination. Contributions to the observed signal often include motion along faults, seasonal cycles of subsidence and recharge associated with aquifers, anthropogenic extraction of hydrocarbons, and variations in atmospheric water vapor and ionospheric properties.

Here we examine methods for extracting time-varying ground deformation signals from combinations of InSAR and GPS data, real and synthetic, applied to Southern California. We show that two methods for combining the data through removal of a GPS-constrained function (a plane, and filtering) from the InSAR result in a clear tradeoff between the contribution from the two datatypes at diffferent spatial scales. We also show that the contribution to the secular rates at GPS sites from seasonal signals is large enough to be a significant error in this estimation process, and should be accounted for.