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    Solid earth sciences


    Crustal deformation detection capability of the GNSS-A seafloor geodetic observation array (SGO-A), provided by Japan Coast Guard

    Yokota Y, Ishikawa T, Watanabe S, Nakamura Y

    GNSS-A, SGO-A, Seafloor geodetic observation, Earthquake detection limit, SSE detection limit

    Capability to detect various crustal deformation events at each observation site of the present SGO-A

    The GNSS-A technique is an observation method that can detect seafloor crustal deformations with centimeter-level positioning accuracy. The GNSS-A seafloor geodetic observation array operated by the Japan Coast Guard (SGO-A) has been constructed near the Japanese Islands along the Nankai Trough and the Japan Trench. This observation array has detected several earthquakes’ displacements and episodic slow crustal deformation. To compare the detection results of SGO-A with other observation networks and expand the SGO-A coverage area, it is necessary to correctly understand its detection capability. In this paper, numerical simulations and statistical verifications were used to assess the capabilities of the present GNSS-A system using a manned vessel (observation frequency: 4–6 times/year, positioning accuracy: standard deviation = 1.5 cm) to detect (1) secular deformation only, (2) a transient slip event only and (3) secular deformation and a transient event together. We verified these results with appropriate thresholds and found the following features: When it is known that there is no transient event, the 95% confidence level (CL) for the estimation of secular crustal deformation rate with 4-year observation is about 0.5–0.8 cm/year; when the deformation rate is known, a signal of about 3.0 cm can be detected by observations of about 4 times before and after the transient event. When the deformation rate and the transient event are detected together, to keep the false positive low (about 0.05), the false negative becomes high (about 0.7–0.2 for detecting a signal of 4.5–6.0 cm). The determined rate and event variations are approximately 1.8 cm/year (95%CL) and 1.5 cm (standard deviation), respectively. We also examined the detection capability for higher observation frequency and positioning accuracy, to examine how the detection capability improves by technological advancements in the future. Additionally, we calculated the spatial range of event detectability using the determined values of detection sensitivity. Obtained results show that each seafloor site can detect a slip event of < 1.0 m scale within about 30 km radius, and approximately one-third of the subseafloor slip event over 100 km from land along the Nankai Trough can only be detected by SGO-A.