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Continuous GPS measurements of contemporary deformation across the northern Basin and Range province

Bennett, R. A. and Wernicke, B. P. and Davis, J. L. (1998) Continuous GPS measurements of contemporary deformation across the northern Basin and Range province. Geophysical Research Letters, 25 (4). pp. 563-566. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/98GL00128.

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We have acquired and analyzed data from the northern Basin and Range (NBAR) continuous GPS network since July 1996. The RMS residual with respect to the best fitting lines through the individual station position estimates is 2–3 mm in the horizontal and 6–10 mm in the vertical. After the first 395 days of operation, uncertainties in horizontal velocity estimates are 1–2 mm/yr (1-σ). Relative motion among NBAR sites located in eastern Nevada and in Utah is small, but east-west extension is significant assuming uniform strain accumulation across the whole network. The relative motion observed across the Wasatch fault zone is 2 ±2 mm/yr, east-west. Relative motions among stations in western Nevada and California, in contrast, are dominated by northwest, right-lateral shear. We infer an integrated deformation across the northern Basin and Range of 11 ± 2 mm/yr, northwest. These rates are consistent with previous geodetic measurements. Our GPS velocity estimates, however, reveal a possibly abrupt transition from east-west extension in eastern Nevada and Utah to right-lateral shear in western Nevada. This transition is roughly coincident with the central Nevada seismic belt and is consistent with the right-oblique focal mechanisms of the 1954 Dixie Valley and Fairview Peak earthquakes. The transition also appears to correlate spatially with a transition in upper mantle structure.

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Wernicke, B. P.0000-0002-7659-8358
Additional Information:© 1998 American Geophysical Union. Received July 3, 1997; revised December1 6, 1997; accepted December 30, 1997. The University NAVSTAR Consortium (UNAVCO) facility assisted greatly in establishing the network. We thank the Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno, and particularly W. Nicks, for technical support and the University of Utah for assistance in site permitting. We also thank B. Frohring at Trimble Navigation Inc. who provided technical expertise. This manuscript benefited from careful reviews by J. Savage and an anonymous referee. We thank R. Smith and C. Meertens for keeping us abreast of their related research. Figures 1 and 2 were produced with the GMT software. This project is supported by NSF Grants EAR 94-18784, EAR 95-12212, Trimble Navigation Inc., the California Institute of Technology, and the Smithsonian Institution.
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NSFEAR 94-18784
NSFEAR 95-12212
Trimble Navigation, Inc.UNSPECIFIED
Smithsonian InstitutionUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
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ID Code:48084
Deposited On:06 Aug 2014 23:17
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