Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 80, Issue 8–11, pp 591–607 | Cite as

Plate kinematics of Nubia–Somalia using a combined DORIS and GPS solution

Original Article

Abstract

We have used up to 12 years of data to assess DORIS performance for geodynamics applications. We first examine the noise characteristics of the DORIS time-series of weekly station coordinates to derive realistic estimates of velocity uncertainties. We find that a combination of white and flicker noise best explains the DORIS time-series noise characteristics. Second, weekly solutions produced by the Institut Géographique National/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (IGN/JPL) DORIS Analysis Centre are combined to derive a global velocity field. This solution is combined with two independent GPS solutions, including 11 sites on Nubia and 5 on the Somalia plate. The combination indicates that DORIS horizontal velocities have an average accuracy of 3 mm/year, with best-determined sites having velocity accuracy better than 1 mm/year (one-sigma levels). Using our combined velocity field, we derive an updated plate kinematics model with a focus on the Nubia–Somalia area. Including DORIS data improves the precision of the angular velocity vector for Nubia by 15%. Our proposed model provides robust bounds on the maximum opening rates along the East African Rift (4.7–6.7 mm/year). It indicates opening rates 15 and 7% slower than values predicted by NUVEL-1A for the southern Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, respectively. These differences are likely to arise from the fact that NUVEL-1A considered Africa as a single non-deforming plate, while here we use a more refined approach.

Keywords

Africa Nubia Somalia Plate motion DORIS GPS Terrestrial reference frame Plate tectonics NUVEL-1A 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR6526 GéosciencesAzurFrance
  2. 2.Institut Geographique National, Direction TechniqueSaint-MandeFrance
  3. 3.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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