Application of Space Technology to Geodynamics

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Science  03 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4503, pp. 89-96
DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4503.89


Measurements of the movement and deformation of tectonic plates are needed for many research areas in geodynamics, but observations with adequate accuracy and frequency of measurement are not feasible if classical geodetic methods are used. Long-baseline microwave interferometry and laser ranging to Earth satellites are among the new techniques that have been developed within the past decade to make the required measurements. Fixed and mobile stations using both these methods have been constructed in several countries and are now being used in an internationally coordinated research program. Baseline length accuracy better than 2 to 3 centimeters (1 standard deviation) is expected within the next 5 years.