Crustal Deformation Analysis at CGPS Sites Spanning Mexico

Monday, 15 December 2014
G. Esteban Vazquez, UAS Autonomous University of Sinaloa, Sinaloa, Mexico, Richard A Bennett, Univ Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States, Joshua C Spinler, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States and Dorota A Grejner-Brzezinska, Ohio State University Main Campus, College of Engineering Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, Columbus, OH, United States
We conducted a study using data from continuous Global Positioning System (CGPS) stations throughout Mexico to understand a variety of factors that may have an impact on crustal deformation of Mexico—a research topic investigated for many years. This arises from the fact that Mexico is directly influenced by the interactions between the North American, Pacific, Cocos, Caribbean and Rivera tectonic plates. We analyzed CGPS data originating from several networks covering Mexico. These stations have been installed to serve diverse purposes and applications, and are administered by diverse organizations that include government agencies and public universities. We evaluated a total of 80 CGPS stations operating in Mexico; where dual-frequency geodetic-grade GPS receivers collected data continuously during periods between 1994 and 2014.5, in order to provide a synoptic view of the crustal velocity field of Mexico. The CGPS sites located in the Mexican territory were processed with respect to 133 sites outside of Mexico (i.e., Caribbean, Pacific, South and North American plates) in order to evaluate crustal deformation in Mexico in the context of the relative motions among these tectonic plates. Given the heterogeneous nature of the available GPS networks, we performed an analysis of time-series in terms of their duration and precision, finding generally high precision. From the estimated crustal velocities, we observe that these are very comparable (± 1 mm) with respect to previously derived values for stations located at the Baja Peninsula and the Oaxaca—Guerrero region. In general, the behavior of the northern CGPS spanning Mexico are very consistent with North American plate motion.