Watching the Earth Move

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Science  28 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5270, pp. 1870
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5270.1870


Most methods for observing the motions of Earth's crust are planted firmly on the ground or even below it, but researchers have now perfected a space-based technique, an orbiting radar that can reveal even a few centimeters of crustal deformation. The forces behind such minute changes are the same as those that drive massive earthquakes, so the precise measurements made by synthetic aperture radar interferometry will help geophysicists study the workings of deep faults.