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Scientists use earth-embedded GPS antennae to improve quake understanding

Cyrus Farivar

While GPS can do pretty much everything from provide basic map locations to help us engage in fun activities like geocaching, it had never occurred to us that it could also be used in seismology. Fortunately for folks living in quake country, geophysicists have figured out how to do just that. According to a paper that was just presented at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, a joint team from Stanford University and from the University of Indiana have figured out a way to use GPS antennae lodged deep in bedrock that can provide a new model for assessing risk of future earthquakes. Armed with these tools, scientists can now determine how quickly various points on the earth are moving, which allows for a better understanding of how tectonic faults shift. But if anyone's knowledge of earthquakes can be improved, it's certainly ours -- we had no idea they get shaken up occasionally over in Indiana.

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