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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-89
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-89
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 May 2019

Research article | 29 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Extracting small deformation beyond individual station precision from dense GNSS networks in France and Western Europe

Christine Masson, Stephane Mazzotti, Philippe Vernant, and Erik Doerflinger Christine Masson et al.
  • Géosciences Montpellier, CNRS, University of Montpellier, Université des Antilles, Montpellier, 34000, France

Abstract. We use dense geodetic networks and large GPS datasets to extract regionally coherent velocities and deformation rates in France and neighboring Western Europe. This analysis is combined with statistical tests on synthetic data to quantify the deformation detection thresholds and significance levels. By combining two distinct methods, Gaussian smoothing and k-means clustering, we extract horizontal deformations with a 95% confidence level ca. 0.1–0.2 mm yr−1 (ca. 0.5–1 × 10-9 yr−1) on spatial scales of 100–200 km or more. From these analyses, we show that the regionally average velocity and strain rate fields are statistically significant in most of our study area. The first order deformation signal in France and neighboring Western Europe is a belt of N-S to NE-SW shortening ca. 0.2–0.4 mm yr−1 (1–2 × 10−9 yr−1) in central and eastern France. In addition to this large-scale signal, patterns of orogen-normal extension are observed in the Alps and the Pyrenees, but methodological biases, mainly related to GPS solution combinations, limit the spatial resolution and preclude associations with specific geological structures. The patterns of deformation in western France show either tantalizing correlation (Brittany) or anti-correlation (Aquitaine Basin) with the seismicity. Overall, more detailed analyses are required to address the possible origin of these signals and the potential role of aseismic deformation.

Christine Masson et al.
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Status: open (until 26 Jul 2019)
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Short summary
In using dense geodetic networks and large GPS datasets, we are able to extract regionally coherent velocities and deformation rates in France and neighboring Western Europe. This analysis is combined with statistical tests on synthetic data to quantify the deformation detection thresholds and significance levels.
In using dense geodetic networks and large GPS datasets, we are able to extract regionally...
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