Paper No. 126-9
Presentation Time: 4:10 PM
UNAVCO’S ROLE IN NATURAL HAZARDS PREPAREDNESS, RESPONSE AND MITIGATION
UNAVCO, as both a scientific community and a science support facility, provides critical services for natural hazards preparation, response and mitigation. GPS/GNSS data, especially from the Plate Boundary Observatory in the western U. S., provides both the long-term context for tectonic changes and timely and accurate observations of earthquake deformation. Joint analysis of seismic and geodetic data, now termed seismogeodesy, is essential for accurately estimating the magnitudes of large earthquakes for earthquake and tsunami early warning. Recent geodetic data analysis has shown that a tsunami creates a disturbance in the ionosphere, essentially a wave of high energy particles, that helps track tsunami wave arrivals across ocean basins and thus provide a warning mechanism in advance of any buoy or coastal arrival, giving more time for communities to prepare for the oncoming waves. Geodetic data is also used for observing volcanoes and noting when an eruption might be imminent, and GPS observations can be used to track volcanic ash plumes. In the atmospheric realm, GPS measures precipitable water vapor in the troposphere, which can be utilized to track severe weather, hurricanes and flooding potential. GPS also senses the electron content in the ionosphere and contributes to space weather forecasts. GPS reflectometry can measure snow depth, soil moisture, tides and other phenomenon and these measurements can be useful for avalanche, flood, drought monitoring and sea level. Finally recent research has shown that a dense network of GPS sites can measure water storage changes on the surface of earth and in subsurface aquifers, creating an effective hydrological monitor for water and land resource management.