Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Marine Geology and Geophysics (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Timothy Dixon

Second Committee Member

Christopher Harrison

Third Committee Member

Falk Amelung

Fourth Committee Member

Riccardo Lanari


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.


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