Publication Date

2009-10-28

Availability

Open access

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Marine Geology and Geophysics (Marine)

Date of Defense

2009-04-17

First Committee Member

Timothy Dixon - Committee Member

Second Committee Member

Christopher Harrison - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Falk Amelung - Mentor

Fourth Committee Member

Riccardo Lanari - Outside Committee Member

Abstract

I use Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) to study the present deformation in the Western Basin and Range and Basin and Range - Sierra Nevada transition. I process 350 SAR data over 190·103 km2 for the period 1992 to 2002. Both stacking and time series processing were applied to produce precise (mm/yr) and high-resolution velocity map for the area. Two new processing techniques have been developed. The first technique solves for the long wavelength ambiguities of the InSAR derived velocity map that arise due to uncertainty in the orbital parameter of the satellite. The technique assimilates continuous GPS data into the InSAR time-series processing. The second technique extracts the horizontal and vertical components of the deformation field from two adjacent radar tracks. I applied stacking to study the transient deformation across the Central Nevada Seismic Belt and interseismic strain accumulation across the Eastern California Shear Zone. I show that the current deformation across the Central Nevada Seismic Belt can be explained by a combination of inter-seismic, post-seismic and anthropogenic deformation. The Post-Seismic deformation is associated with visco-elastic relaxation of the Earth's mantle in response to a centennial earthquake sequence of five ~M7 earthquakes along the Central Nevada Seismic Belt. The anthropogenic deformation is a response of the bedrock to water withdrawal in support of mining activity. A more evolved time-series approach that solves for orbital errors is applied across the Eastern California Shear Zone. The study shows that the Hunter Mountain - Panamint Valley fault system accommodates ~5 mm/yr, a faster rate than geological averages. The region of strain accumulation is a narrow band of ~10 km centered on the Hunter mountain fault, and indicates a very shallow locking depth in agreement with an active low angle normal fault system.

Keywords

Mining; Tectonics; Earthquake Cycle; Subsidence; Seismic Risk; Man Made; Reservoir; Solid Earth

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