The Plate Boundary Observatory Cascadia Network: Development and Installation of a Large Scale Real-time GPS Network

Friday, 19 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Kenneth Emil Austin1, Frederick Blume2, Henry T Berglund2, Karl Feaux1, Warren W Gallaher3, Kathleen Marian Hodgkinson4, Glen S Mattioli3 and David Mencin1, (1)UNAVCO, Inc. Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)UNAVCO, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)UNAVCO, Inc., Boulder, CO, United States, (4)UNAVCO, socorro, NM, United States
The EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO), through a NSF-ARRA supplement, has enhanced the geophysical infrastructure in in the Pacific Northwest by upgrading a total of 282 Plate Boundary Observatory GPS stations to allow the collection and distribution of high-rate (1 Hz), low-latency (<1 s) data streams (RT-GPS). These upgraded stations supplemented the original 100 RT-GPS stations in the PBO GPS network. The addition of the new RT-GPS sites in Cascadia should spur new volcano and earthquake research opportunities in an area of great scientific interest and high geophysical hazard. Streaming RT-GPS data will enable researchers to detect and investigate strong ground motion during large geophysical events, including a possible plate-interface earthquake, which has implications for earthquake hazard mitigation. A Mw 6.9 earthquake occurred on March 10, 2014, off the coast of northern California. As a response, UNAVCO downloaded high-rate GPS data from Plate Boundary Observatory stations within 500 km of the epicenter of the event, providing a good test of network performance.

In addition to the 282 stations upgraded to real-time, 22 new meteorological instruments were added to existing PBO stations. Extensive testing of BGAN satellite communications systems has been conducted to support the Cascadia RT-GPS upgrades and the installation of three BGAN satellite fail over systems along the Cascadia margin will allow for the continuation of data flow in the event of a loss of primary communications during in a large geophysical event or other interruptions in commercial cellular networks. In summary, with these additional upgrades in the Cascadia region, the PBO RT-GPS network will increase to 420 stations. Upgrades to the UNAVCO data infrastructure included evaluation and purchase of the Trimble Pivot Platform, servers, and additional hardware for archiving the high rate data, as well as testing and implementation of GLONASS and Trimble RTX positioning on the receivers. UNAVCO staff is working closely with the UNAVCO community to develop data standards, protocols, and a science plan for the use of RT-GPS data.