2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 3:10 PM


JARVIS, Chelsea J. and BOHNENSTIEHL, Kyle R., UNAVCO, Inc, 6350 Nautilus Dr, Boulder, CO 80301, chelsea@unavco.org

The Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) is a part of EarthScope, funded by the National Science Foundation, and is being constructed by UNAVCO, Inc. of Boulder, Colorado. PBO consists of a network of 875 GPS monuments and 175 borehole strainmeters designed to investigate the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the physical processes controlling earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Before these sites can be built, they must all be permitted with the landowner who can be a private individual, city, county, state or a branch of the federal government. The actual construction of a GPS monument presents very few unknowns and risks to the project, but the willingness of a landowner or federal agency to issue a permit for long term occupancy is not a risk we can easily control. Permitting, especially with state and federal agencies, has proven to be one of the greatest challenges PBO faces. Usage of federal lands, including national parks, is essential to achieving the scientific goals of the project. The lessons learned in permitting PBO apply to other large, geographically dispersed science projects seeking to construct facilities on a complex patchwork of land ownership. This talk looks at the current status of the permitting of GPS and strainmeter sites, especially permitting with the National Park Service. The problems that have been encountered and the corrective actions that have been taken to date will also be addressed. A discussion and review of the national parks where PBO has installed GPS sites to date including photos and GPS data results will be presented. A forward look at parks where we would like to construct sites including a schedule will be included as well.