Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 83, Issue 3–4, pp 335–343 | Cite as

GPS for real-time earthquake source determination and tsunami warning systems

  • Geoffrey BlewittEmail author
  • William C. Hammond
  • Corné Kreemer
  • Hans-Peter Plag
  • Seth Stein
  • Emile Okal
Original Article


We identify the key design aspects of a GPS-based system (and in the future, GNSS-based systems) that could contribute to real-time earthquake source determination and tsunami warning systems. Our approach is based on models of both transient and permanent displacement of GPS stations caused by large earthquakes, while considering the effect of GPS errors on inverted earthquake source parameters. Our main conclusions are that (1) the spatial pattern, magnitude, and timing of permanent displacement of GPS stations can be inverted for the earthquake source and so predict the 3D displacement field of the ocean bottom, thus providing the initial conditions for tsunami models, and (2) there are no inherently limiting factors arising from real-time orbit and positioning errors, provided sufficient near-field GPS stations are deployed. This signal could be readily exploited by GPS networks currently in place, and will be facilitated by the IGS Real-Time Project as it comes to fruition.


GPS GNSS Real-time Earthquake Tsunami Warning system 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Blewitt
    • 1
    Email author
  • William C. Hammond
    • 1
  • Corné Kreemer
    • 1
  • Hans-Peter Plag
    • 1
  • Seth Stein
    • 2
  • Emile Okal
    • 2
  1. 1.Nevada Bureau of Mines and GeologyUniversity of Nevada, RenoRenoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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