Engaging posters visually explain GPS, InSAR, and other areas of geodesy. These are great for use in classrooms or presentations.

What GPS Can Tell Us About Earth

GPS Infographic

GPS is helpful for more than just navigation. Explore how scientists can use GPS to measure plate tectonics, earthquakes, snow depth, sea level, and more with this posters. Created by Beth Bartel and Daniel Zietlow with assistance from Gene Malowany. Print as a 22″ x 22.5″ poster. 

Download as high-resolution PDF or JPG


Measuring Groundwater

thumbnail of groundwater wall poster

Geodesy provides multiple tools that can detect changes in water resources. Learn how GPS data, satellite gravity instruments, and InSAR can track groundwater change, using the example of California. This poster was created by Scott Johnson with assistance from Gene Malowany. Spanish translation by Marina La Grave. Print size is 22″ x 25.5″.

Download as high-resolution PDF in English or Spanish


InSAR

Learn about InSAR, a remote sensing geodetic technique for measuring topography and deformation. InSAR can measure cm-level changes in the landscape from earthquakes, volcano deformation, groundwater withdrawl, and more. This poster was created by Sarah Moore, 2016 USIP Intern, with assistance from Shelley Olds, Scott Baker, and Gene Malowany. Designed as a three-paneled wall mounted poster. The center panel is 4′ x 4′ and the side panels are 2′ x 4′.

Download as high-resolution PDF


Reading Interferograms and other InSAR Basics

How do you read an InSAR interferogram and how do we use them to study our Earth? Learn more with this poster suitable for introductory and upper-level geoscience classrooms. This poster was developed by Daniel Zietlow and Beth Bartel from an poster created by Sarah Moore, Shelley Olds, Scott Baker, and Gene Malowany, with input from Beth Pratt-Sitaula. Special thanks to Gareth Funning for review and contributions. Latest version April 2019. Print as a 22.5″ x 26″ poster.

Download high-resolution files
Front: PDF JPG
Back:  PDF JPG


What is Geodesy?

What is geodesy? How does geodesy work? What can we do with geodesy? Explore these questions and more with this introductory poster. This poster was created by Christopher Chase Edmunds, 2017 USIP Intern. Print as a 15″ x 21.5″ poster. Spanish translation contributed by Franco Sebastian Sobrero, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina. French and German translations courtesy of Swisstopo.

Download high-resolution files
English: PDF JPG
Spanish version: PDF JPG
German version: PDF
French version: PDF


Geodetic Toolbox

Geodetic instruments measure the changing shape of our Earth underground, at the surface, in the air, and from space. Learn more about GPS, InSAR, lidar, gravity, borehole instrumentation, and photogrammetry with this poster created by Ellie Ellis, 2017 USIP Intern.

Download as high-resolution PDF or JPG 


Tectonic Motion Maps

These maps display velocities of Global Positioning System (GPS) stations around the world on posters that are ideal for classrooms or labs. These velocities show how the surface of the Earth is changing over time as a result of plate tectonics.

Download Western United States as high-resolution PDF front and back

Download Alaska as high-resolution PDF front and back


Measuring the Earth: The Science of Geodesy

What is geodesy, and how does this science serve society? This series, based on content from the 2018 UNAVCO calendar, explores these questions by highlighting geodesy’s many applications. Created by Daniel Zietlow with assistance from Beth Bartel.

This series was also adapted into a single poster translated into French (PDF) and German (PDF) by Swisstopo.

Geodesy is the science of measuring Earth’s size, shape, orientation in space, and gravity field. 

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The motion of tectonic plates, along with erosion and deposition, alter Earth’s surface, creating mountains and valleys and causing earthquakes. 

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Measuring global sea level requires monitoring both tides and vertical motion of landmasses. 

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Scientists can measure wavelengths of light either absorbed or reflected by green vegetation using remote sensing observations. 

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GPS systems are practically synonymous with navigation, even more so with the rise of autonomous vehicles.

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Real-time GPS data, in combination with seismic instrumentation, allows scientists to detect earthquakes quickly and warn people of impending shaking. 

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Snow cover, lake levels, soil moisture, and changes in groundwater level can all cause Earth’s surface to move up or down. 

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The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere determines the weather that may occur. 

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Earth’s gravity field changes from place to place depending, in part, on topography. 

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GPS and financial markets, such as the New York Stock Exchange, have become intimately linked. 

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Scientists monitor polar ice conditions through a number of geodetic observations. 

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Satellite and ground networks critical to geodesy can be negatively impacted by space weather, and can also measure it. 

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Earth Hazards

Our dynamic planet’s active processes yield the beauty of mountains as well as the dangers of earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and more. This series, based on content from the 2019 UNAVCO-IRIS calendar, highlights the ongoing contributions of geodesy and seismology to understanding Earth hazards. Created by Daniel Zietlow, Kelsey Russo-Nixon, and Beth Bartel.

Earth hazards occur daily across the globe, and in the U.S. lead to billions of dollars of damage and loss each year.

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Two factors contribute to triggering an avalanche: how much liquid water is in the snow and how thick the snow layer is compared to the mountain slope on which it sits.

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Tsunamis are most commonly associated with earthquakes, but can be caused by other phenomena such as landslides and glacier calving. 

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Over the last century, researchers have identified human activities that can cause earthquakes. 

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Solar wind, a flow of charged particles released from our Sun, constantly bombards Earth. 

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Landslides have the potential to occur almost anywhere there is a steep slope, and can cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage. 

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The erosion of shorelines by high wind, rain, and tidal currents impacts coastal communities worldwide. 

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During an earthquake, not all ground shakes alike. 

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Episodic tremor and slip (ETS) is a recently discovered fault behavior in regions of known large earthquakes. 

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Permafrost is a shallow layer of soil and rock in the ground that is frozen year-round. 

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Volcanoes pose multiple hazards to local and regional communities, including earthquakes, lava flows, and ash clouds. 

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Large chucks of ice break off the edge of glaciers in a process known as glacier calving. 

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Seeing our Earth 2020

There is much to see on our amazing planet, inside and out, and our eyes can only take in so much. This series, based on content from the 2020 GAGE-SAGE calendar produced by UNAVCO and IRIS, explores how geophysical technologies extend our vision. Created by Kelsey Russo-Nixon with assistance from Beth Bartel.

There is much to see on our amazing planet, inside and out, and our eyes can only take in so much. To really understand Earth, we rely on technologies to extend our vision. 

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While seeing penguins close-up on the ground is exciting, seeing them from the air, via photos taken from an unoccupied aerial system (UAS), offers a much better and much less invasive view of their colony structures and a faster way to complete population counts. 

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Greenland is home to Earth’s second-largest ice sheet, with glaciers covering approximately 80% of its surface. Tracking Greenland’s speeding glaciers is critical for understanding current and future sea level rise.

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In the middle of the North American continent, far from any active volcanoes or plate boundaries, massive lava flows indicate the geologic past was not like the present. What happened? 

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While most of the volcanoes along the Cascades Arc align neatly over the subducting Juan de Fuca plate, Mount St. Helens sits farther west. Why is that? 

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Sand dunes as you’ve never seen them before? This aerial view of White Sands National Monument was created by calculating the difference in height of the dunes between two overflight lidar surveys. 

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A ground-based rainbow? No, these bands of color show how much the ground moved in the Ridgecrest, California region as a result of two earthquakes in July 2019. 

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Understanding subductions zones, where one tectonic plate dives under another, is particularly challenging because the contact between the two plates is often located beneath the ocean. 

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Hurricanes are powerful but picky – they can only travel to and maintain their power in areas with warm water, low winds aloft, and high humidity into the mid-levels of the atmosphere. 

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Not all mountains form the same way, and getting at the root cause of mountains may mean getting to the roots of the mountains themselves. 

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Predicting future coastlines requires much more than knowing how fast current glaciers will melt; we also need to factor in thermal expansion of the oceans and the vertical motions of our coasts.

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One outcome of improved technology and more sensors is a more detailed picture of the inner workings of Earth. 

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