Skip to main content


We’d like to understand how you use our websites in order to improve them. Register your interest.

Large surface wave of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake captured by the very long baseline kinematic analysis of 1-Hz GPS data


The 26 December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman great earthquake had a −1500 km long rupture of more than 600 seconds duration, and may have involved a complex rupture process including slow slip. We processed International GNSS Service (IGS) 1-Hz Global Positioning System (GPS) data using kinematic analysis to investigate ground motion caused by this large earthquake. Since there are few 1-Hz stations, we had to process long baseline up to several thousand kilometers long. Long baselines degrade the GPS carrier phase ambiguity resolution. Nevertheless, clear seismic surface waves of the earthquake are recorded in our longdistance kinematic GPS solutions, which are in good agreement with response-corrected broadband seismic record. Our long baseline kinematic GPS solutions clearly indicated directivity of the seismic wave associated by rupture process of this earthquake. Also at the GPS stations that are 2,000 km away from the epicenter, dynamic displacements exceeding 5–10 cm were detected. In contrast, short baseline kinematic analysis shows large strain change caused by passage of surface wave, which reaches 6 × 10-6. Based on the comparison with seismometer and spectrum analysis of GPS results, it is difficult to discuss for very long time period displacement such as with a period more than 600 seconds in this study.


  1. Ammon, C. J., C. Ji, H.-K. Thio, D. Robinson, S. Ni, V. Hjorleifsdottir, H. Kanamori, T. Lay, S. Das, D. Helmberger, G. Ichinose, J. Polet, and D. Wald, Rupture process of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, Science, 20 May, 1133–1139, 2005.

  2. Bock, Y, Continuous monitoring of crustal deformation, GPS World, 2(6), 40–47, 1991.

  3. Bock, Y., R. M. Nikolaidis, P. J. de Jonge, and M. Bevis, Instantaneous geodetic positioning at medium distances with the Global Positioning System, J. Geophys. Res., 105(B12), 28,223, (2000JB900268), 2000.

  4. Choi, K., A. Bilich, K. Larson, and P. Axelarad, Modified Sidereal filtering: Implications for high-rate GPS positioning, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L22608, 2004.

  5. Hugentobler, U., S. Schafer, and P. Fridez, Bernese GPS software Version 4.2., Astronomical Institute University of Berne, 515 pp., 2001.

  6. Larson, K., P. Bodin, and J. Gomberg, Using 1-Hz GPS data to measure deformations caused by the denali fault earthquake, Science, 300, 30 May, 2003.

  7. Lay, T., H. Kanamori, C. J. Ammon, M. Nettles, S. N. Ward, R. C. Aster, S. L. Beck, S. L. Bilek, M. R. Brudzinski, R. Butler, H. R. DeShon, G. Ekström, K. Satake, and S. Sipkin, The Great Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake of 26 December 2004, Science, 20 May, 1127–1133, 2005.

  8. Lichten, S. M. and J. S. Border, Strategies for high precision global positioning system orbit determination, J. Geophys. Res., 92(B12), 12751–12762 Nov 10, 1987.

  9. Mao, A., C. G. A. Harrison, and T. H. Dixon, Noise in GPS coordinate time series, J. Geophys. Res., 104(B2), 2797 (1998JB900033), 1999.

  10. Miyazaki, S., K. M. Larson, K. Choi, K. Hikima, K. Koketsu, P. Bodin, J. Haase, G. Emore, and A. Yamagiwa, Modeling the rupture process of the 2003 September 25 Tokachi-Oki (Hokkaido) earthquake using 1-Hz GPS data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L21603, doi:10.1029/2004GL021457, 2004.

  11. West, M., J. J. Sanchez, and S. R. McNutt, Periodically Triggered Seismicity at Mount Wrangell, Alaska, After the Sumatra Earthquake, Science, 20 May 2005, 1144–1146, 2005.

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yusaku Ohta.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ohta, Y., Meilano, I., Sagiya, T. et al. Large surface wave of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake captured by the very long baseline kinematic analysis of 1-Hz GPS data. Earth Planet Sp 58, 153–157 (2006).

Download citation

Key words

  • 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake
  • long baseline kinematic GPS analysis
  • broadband seismometer