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See detailUsing GPS and absolute gravity observations to separate the effects of present-day and Pleistocene ice-mass changes in South East Greenland
van Dam, Tonie UL; Francis, Olivier UL; Wahr, J. et al

in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2017), 459

Measurements of vertical crustal uplift from bedrock sites around the edge of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) can be used to constrain present day mass loss. Interpreting any observed crustal displacement ... [more ▼]

Measurements of vertical crustal uplift from bedrock sites around the edge of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) can be used to constrain present day mass loss. Interpreting any observed crustal displacement around the GrIS in terms of present day changes in ice is complicated, however, by the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) signal. With GPS observations alone, it is impossible to separate the uplift driven by present day mass changes from that due to ice mass changes in the past. Wahr et al. (1995) demonstrated that viscoelastic surface displacements were related to the viscoelastic gravity changes through a proportionality constant that is nearly independent of the choice of Earth viscosity or ice history model. Thus, by making measurements of both gravity and surface motion at a bedrock site, the viscoelastic effects could be removed from the observations and we would be able to constrain present day ice mass changes. Alternatively, we could use the same observations of surface displacements and gravity to determine the GIA signal. In this paper, we extend the theory of Wahr et al. (1995) by introducing a constant, Z, that represents the ratio between the elastic changes in gravity and elastic uplift at a particular site due to present day mass changes. Further, we combine 20 yrs of GPS observations of uplift with eight absolute gravity observations over the same period to determine the GIA signal near Kulusuk, a site on the southeastern side of the GrIS, to experimentally demonstrate the theory. We estimate that the GIA signal in the region is 4.49 ± 1.44 mm/yr and is inconsistent with most previously reported model predictions that demonstrate that the GIA signal here is negative. However, as there is very little in situ data to constrain the GIA rate in this part of Greenland, the Earth model or the ice history reconstructions could be inaccurate (Khan et al., 2016). Improving the estimate of GIA in this region of Greenland will allow us to better determine the present day changes in ice mass in the region, e.g. from GRACE. [less ▲]

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See detailComplementary slip distribution of the August 4, 2003 Mw 7.6 and November 17, 2013 Mw 7.8 South Scotia Ridge earthquakes
Ye, Lingling; Lay, Thorne; Koper, Keith D et al

in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2014), 401

The South Scotia Ridge Transform (SSRT) plate boundary between the Scotia and Antarctic plates experienced large strike-slip earthquakes on August 4, 2003 (Mw 7.6) and November 17, 2013 (Mw 7.8). These ... [more ▼]

The South Scotia Ridge Transform (SSRT) plate boundary between the Scotia and Antarctic plates experienced large strike-slip earthquakes on August 4, 2003 (Mw 7.6) and November 17, 2013 (Mw 7.8). These events have overlapping aftershock zones, which is unusual. A 36°-45° southward dipping fault zone ruptured with left-lateral displacements in each event along the northern margin of the South Orkney micro-continent near 60°S. Slip distributions for the two events are determined using teleseismic body and surface wave recordings along with constraints from GPS ground motion recordings at station BORC on Laurie Island (South Orkney Islands), just south of the SSRT. The aftershock distributions, high-frequency back-projections, and unconstrained body wave finite-fault inversions permit significant overlap of the 2003 and 2013 slip zones; however, the GPS static displacements resolve differences in the large-slip regions of the two ruptures. The 2013 earthquake sequence along the SSRT initiated with Mw 6.1 (November 13) and Mw 6.8 (November 16) foreshocks located ~50 km west of the mainshock hypocenter, and had aftershocks extending ~250 km eastward. The rupture spread primarily eastward at ~2.5 km/s with a total rupture duration of about 120 s, with two distinct patches of large-slip located northwest and northeast of the South Orkney Islands. The rupture swept past BORC, with high-rate GPS (HRGPS) ground motion recordings capturing the time-varying slip history of the faulting. Traditional GPS data require that the largest-slip region of the shorter rupture in 2003 is located in the gap NNE of BORC between the two patches that ruptured in 2013. There appears to be some overlap of lower slip regions. The complementary slip distributions comprise a relatively uniform offset along this portion of the SSRT, which is one of the most seismically active regions of the entire Antarctic plate boundary. [less ▲]

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