High-rate continuous GPS observations in Iceland





A project titled High-rate continuous GPS observations in Iceland was initiated through a research Grant for Excellence from the Icelandic Research Fund during 2006-2009. The goal of the project is to introduce a new type of crustal deformation monitoring in Iceland by installing 30 new continuous GPS stations in Iceland, with a sampling rate of 1 second or higher.

The final report of the project can be obtained here

The view towards Langjökull from one of the new CGPS stations in our network.

A tectonic map of Iceland showing the new high rate CGPS network.

For the lates updates on the progress you can check our Google map.

We will study volcanic processes by installing high rate GPS stations near the three most active volcanoes in Iceland: Grímsvötn, Hekla and Katla. These volcanoes have been active recently or are currently showing signs of unrest. Recent campaign GPS measurements indicate rapid uplift (up to 2 cm/yr) over a wide area in central Iceland. The network planned in central Iceland will obtain more detailed information on the rate and extent of the uplift. Stations will also be installed in seismically active areas in the South Iceland Seismic Zone, Northern Iceland and on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Implementing the 1-Hz technology in Iceland studies of both the dynamic as well as slower rate processes related to earthquake and volcanic activity will be possible. The high level of volcanic and earthquake activity in Iceland makes it an ideal site for this project. In addition, these new continuous GPS stations will double the number of continuous GPS stations in Iceland and provide important data on the rate of deformation along the plate boundary in Iceland, as well as increase our understanding of volcanic and tectonic interaction.

The project is a collaborative effort between Icelandic scientists and co-workers in Europe, US and Japan.
Here are the home pages of our research team members:
Ţóra Árnadóttir at the Nordic Volcanological Center, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland,
Halldór Geirsson at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, that runs the current CGPS network in Iceland ,
Professor Sigurjón Jónsson at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland (now KAUST, Saudi Arabia),
Professor Rick Bennett and Dr. Sigrún Hreinsdóttir (now at the University of Iceland) at the University of Arizona, USA,
Professor Peter C. LaFemina at Pennsylvania State Univeristy in the USA.

Our US collaborators receive funding from NSF. Project titles:
A Wide-aperture Geodetic Experiment in the Divergent Oceanic Plate Boundary Zone of Iceland (PI: Rick Bennett)
Iceland Geodynamics: Magma-Tectonic Interactions in South Iceland (PI: Pete LaFemina)
US groups obtain GPS equipment and technical support from UNAVCO