The main goal of this research group is to study the tectonic and geodynamic evolution of active margins using various techniques of satellite geodesy and remote sensing. Specifically, we use Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) systems to quantify the present-day deformation of the earth’s crust, with a final aim of establishing a link between these observations and the tectonic processes and occurrence of earthquakes.
The advent of GPS technology in the early 1990s has revolutionized our ability to determine geodetic positions and to navigate. Today, due to the development of the advanced data analysis tools and the establishment of the global array of continuous GNSS stations, it is possible to measure movements of an unprecedented precision (< 1 mm/yr), allowing the identification of the continuing activity of specific faults, and associated seismic hazard.
In previous years, we have worked actively in subduction zones, specifically, the Cascadia in the Pacific northwest Unites States and the Andes in south America. Currently, we focus on regions of relatively slow deformation, such as the Pyrenes and the Betics, and are also involved in GNSS monitoring and earthquake related research in Georgia (Caucasus).
The UB Space Geodesy group possesses 10 continuous GNSS stations: 7 in the Betics, 2 in the Pyrenees and 1 in Georgia. In addition, in the 90s we have established geodetic arrays (CuaTeNeo in the Betics and Potsis in the Pyrenees) that are measured time-to-time during the campaigns using portable Topcon GB-1000 GNSS instruments. These measurements provide a more detailed picture of current crustal deformations in the corresponding regions.
To aid the final interpretation of the results obtained from the GNSS and InSAR technology, we use 2-D and 3-D elastic dislocation numerical modelling techniques such as, for example, TDEFNODE software.
We collaborate actively with colleagues from MIT (USA), Univ. of Montpellier (France), ICGC (Barcelona), UCM and UPM (Madrid).