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Open AccessArticle

Stand-Alone GNSS Sensors as Velocity Seismometers: Real-Time Monitoring and Earthquake Detection

ETH Zurich, Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
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Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3712; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113712
Received: 10 October 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Precision GNSS in Remote Sensing Applications)
By means of the time derivatives of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) carrier-phase measurements, the instantaneous velocity of a stand-alone, single GNSS receiver can be estimated with a high precision of a few mm/s; it is feasible to even obtain the level of tenths of mm/s. Therefore, only data from the satellite navigation message are needed, thus discarding any data from a reference network. Combining this method with an efficient movement-detection algorithm opens some interesting applications for geohazard monitoring; an example is the detection of strong earthquakes. This capability is demonstrated for a case study of the 6.5 Mw earthquake of October 30, 2016, near the city of Norcia in Italy; in that region, there are densely deployed GNSS stations. It is shown that GNSS sensors can detect seismic compressional (P) waves, which are the first to arrive at a measurement station. These findings are substantiated by a comparison with data of strong-motion (SM) seismometers. Furthermore, it is shown that the GNSS-only hypocenter localization comes close (less than a kilometer) to the solutions provided by official seismic services. Finally, we conclude that this method can provide important contributions to a real-time geohazard early-warning system. View Full-Text
Keywords: high-precision GNSS; instantaneous GNSS velocity; significance testing; GNSS seismology; geohazard monitoring; seismic monitoring; earthquake early warning high-precision GNSS; instantaneous GNSS velocity; significance testing; GNSS seismology; geohazard monitoring; seismic monitoring; earthquake early warning
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Hohensinn, R.; Geiger, A. Stand-Alone GNSS Sensors as Velocity Seismometers: Real-Time Monitoring and Earthquake Detection. Sensors 2018, 18, 3712.

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