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Animations & Videos

UNAVCO creates and curates videos to promote Earth science learning, share UNAVCO services, and inspire the next generation of our workforce. Explore our full suite of videos on the UNAVCO YouTube channel.

Measuring Drought with GPS.

This animation shows how a GPS network throughout the Western United States, mainly composed of the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory operated by UNAVCO, measures regional water loss from drought. [.mp4]

Glaciers are retreating.

This animation shows how GPS can help us measure changes in a glacier. [.mp4]

What can GPS tell us about future earthquakes?

How does the land over a subduction zone move before, during, and after a great earthquake? Using GPS, we can watch the surface of the Earth deform in response to the drag of one tectonic plate going under another. This movement and deformation is visible data from EarthScope's Plate Boundary Observatory in the Cascadia region. [.mp4]

GPS and earthquake early warning.

What makes for an effective earthquake early warning system? In this animation, we see why Japan's earthquake early warning system underestimated the magnitude of the March 11, 2011 Tōhoku event, leading to underestimates of the tsunami. The animation illustrates how by using GPS data, we could more effectively detect and describe a similar great earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone. [.mp4]

Geoscience Career Spotlights

The Geoscience Career Spotlight series highlights the variety of careers available to geoscience majors in addition to academia. These videos are produced by UNAVCO interns and are designed to be short enough to show in an undergraduate classroom without changing existing lesson plans.

Geoscience Student Spotlights

The Geoscience Student Spotlight series highlights undergraduate students currently pursuing a degree in a geoscience. What did these students do in high school? How did they get interested in geoscience? What do they like most about college? These videos are aimed at high school students from broad backgrounds, to inspire our next generation to consider studying geoscience in college.

9 Impacts of Geodesy

Learn about what geodesy actually is, as well as geodesy's application in our everyday lives. UNAVCO's 2017 USIP geoscience video production interns Ellie and Christopher produced this video. [.mp4]

Volcano Monitoring: Using InSAR to See Changes in Volcano Shape

InSAR (interferometric synthetic-aperture radar) is a satellite radar technique useful for measuring changes in Earth's surface. In this animation, produced in collaboration with IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology), learn about how scientists use InSAR to study the Three Sisters volcano in central Oregon.

Airborne Lidar - Light Detection and Ranging

One use of airborne lidar is to measure land-surface elevations hidden by vegetation. It can also be used to track landscape evolution. Learn more with this animation produced in collaboration with IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology).

How GPS Can Measure Surface Changes

GPS is not only useful for navigation and telling us where we are, but GPS signals that bounce off the ground first can tell us about Earth's surface. Watch this animation produced in collaboration with IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) to see how vegetation and snow affect GPS data.

UNAVCO Presentations

View presentations given at UNAVCO, including plenary and Ignite! sessions at Science Workshops, Science Seminars, and AGU@UNAVCO.

Other Recommended Animations and Videos

NASA | Looking Down a Well: A Brief History of Geodesy
Source: NASA

This animation explains how geodesy is the science of where things are, where they have been, and where they are going. It illustrates practical uses of geodesy for mapping, navigation, surveying, measuring movements of the Earth’s crust, and changes in the height and shape of ice sheets.shape of the Earth.

Faces of Earth | Shaping the Planet
Source: AGI

Every minute of every day, the face of Earth changes - sometimes right before our eyes. Go inside tectonic events, watching earthquakes rumble, volcanoes explode, and land transformed.

Pacific Northwest Earth Science Animations
Source: IRIS

These animations show how GPS and seismic data are measuring plate motions and episodic tremor and slip. Quicktime

Tectonics & Earthquakes of the Himalaya
Source: IRIS

This animation discusses the tectonic setting of the Himalaya with specific focus on the April 25, 2015 Nepal earthquake. Be sure to look for the GPS data provided by UNAVCO! mp4

GNSS Meteorology Explained
Source: Цветан Симеонов

Learn how scientists measure atmospheric water vapor using GNSS. This video is also available on the GPS Spotlight website.

The Ionosphere and GNSS: Explained
Source: Цветан Симеонов

Learn how we can measure the composition of our ionosphere using GNSS. This video is also available on the GPS Spotlight website.

Soil Moisture and GNSS: Explained
Source: Цветан Симеонов

This video shows how scientists measure soil moisture using GNSS. This video is also available on the GPS Spotlight website.

Sendai / Tohoku-oki Earthquake Displacements 1Hz Data
Source: Ronni Grapenthin

This video shows the displacements due to the M9.0 and M7.9 earthquakes in Japan on March 11, 2011 as seen in GPS data. This video is also available on the GPS Spotlight website.

Plate Tectonics: 540Ma - Modern World
Source: Christopher Scotese

This animation shows the paleogeographic evolution of plate tectonics on our Earth from the present to 540 million years ago.

Plate Tectonics: 240Ma - 250 Million Years in the Future
Source: Christopher Scotese

This animation shows the evolution of plate tectonics on our Earth from Pangea (240Ma) to Pangea Proxima (250 millions years into the future).

Last modified: Friday, 27-Apr-2018 20:29:40 UTC


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