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Relation of surface movements in West Bohemia to earthquake swarms


GPS observations in the Western Bohemia/Vogtland earthquake swarm region revealed indications of horizontal displacements of low amplitude, and no clear long-term trend in 1993–2007. On the other hand, in 1998–2001 there was relatively significant active movement along NNE-SSW oriented line that we called the “Cheb-Kraslice GPS Boundary” (ChKB), identical with an important limitation of earthquake activity. The most impressive were dextral (right-lateral) movements in the 1998–1999 period followed by reverse sinistral (left-lateral) movements in 1999–2000 that correlate with prevailing motion defined by fault plane solutions of the Autumn 2000 earthquake swarm. Before the February 2004 micro-swarm, two points located on opposite sides of the Mariánské Lázně fault showed extension in the order of about 7 mm in the same NNE-SSW direction of ChKB. The new NOKO permanent GPS station in Nový Kostel showed the peak-to-peak vertical changes up to 10 mm before and during the February 2007 micro-swarm.

Annual precise levelling campaigns in the local network around Nový Kostel revealed regular vertical displacements during the 1994, 1997 and 2000 earthquake swarms. The points around the Nový Kostel seismological station showed uplift during the active periods, including the micro-swarm February 2004. However, no such indication was observed on levelling points in the period of the February 2007 swarm. Long-term vertical displacements depend on the same direction NNE-SSW (ChKB) as the GPS displacements. Both geodetic techniques have revealed oscillating displacements, GPS horizontal, and levelling vertical, rather than any long-term trends in the study period 1993–2007. The displacements exhibited significant spatial and temporal relation to tectonic activity (earthquake swarms) including their coincidence with the seismologically determined sense of motion along the fault plane during earthquakes.

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Correspondence to J. Mrlina.

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Mrlina, J., Seidl, M. Relation of surface movements in West Bohemia to earthquake swarms. Stud Geophys Geod 52, 549 (2008).

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  • geodynamics
  • GPS displacements
  • precise levelling
  • surface kinematics
  • West Bohemia