Bulletin géodésique

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 70–79 | Cite as

A geodetic approach for the recovery of global kinematic plate parameters

  • Hermann Drewes


Modern techniques of precise geodetic positioning are capable of monitoring global tectonic movements. We can avoid the tremendous effort of observing those point motions at every place on the earth, if we accept the model of rigid tectonic plates, which allows us to extrapolate from discrete point observations to the appertaining plates. The target of describing plate kinematics is the determination of its kinematic parameters, which are the coordinates of the rotation pole and the rotational velocity of each tectonic plate.

A mathematical model is presented, which is capable of including geodetic observations (point coordinate shifts, distance changes) as well as geophysical quantities (sea floor spreading rates, earthquake slip vectors). The parameter estimation procedure is derived and demonstrated in simulated examples. Finally a global geodetic network for space techniques is designed, which provides an optimum parameter estimation.


Tectonic Plate Satellite Laser Range Rotation Pole Point Motion Distance Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Bureau Central de L’Association Internationale de Géodésie 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Drewes
    • 1
  1. 1.Deutsches Geodätisches ForschungsinstitutMünchen 22

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