Plate Boundary Observatory

Plate Boundary Observatory

Plate Boundary Observatory

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The Plate Boundary Observatory or (PBO) is one of three components of the Earthscope project, along with USArray and SAFOD (the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth). The PBO is exploring the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the processes related to earthquakes and volcanoes by installing an array of high precision Global Positioning System GPS monuments, borehole strainmeters, and tiltmeters throughout the western United StatesUNAVCO, a membership-governed consortium funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA, installs the PBO. Upon completion in September 2008, there will be 875 GPS stations, 103 borehole strainmeters, and 5 laser strainmeters throughout the western United States and Alaska concentrated around the most active fault systems and volcanoes.

The GPS stations are categorized into five clusters. The transform cluster is in the vicinity of the San Andreas transform fault, which cuts through California; the subduction cluster is in the Cascadia subduction zone, which includes northern California, Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia, and is a result of the Juan de Fuca plate subducting under the North American plate; the extension cluster is in the Basin and Range region; the volcanic cluster is in volcanic regions such as the Yellowstone caldera, the Long Valley caldera, and the......
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