Instrumentation Help with Instrumentation Geophysical Instruments GNSS/GPS Geodetic Imaging SAR Satellites TLS Laser Strainmeters Borehole Instrumentation Borehole Strainmeters Borehole Seismometers Borehole Pore Pressure Sensors Borehole Tiltmeters Meteorological Systems Tide Gauge Systems

Geophysical Instruments

Geophysical instruments measure the physical attributes of the Earth, and these measurements are collected for use by the UNAVCO science community.


GNSS/GPS Receivers (GPS, GLONASS, etc) collect GNSS data which, after processing, is used to measure millimeter-level surface motion measurements at specific points over a period of time; the datasets include temporary, episodic campaign surveys and permanent installations.

Geodetic Imaging

Geodetic Imaging uses data from radar or optical laser which, after processing, is used to measure centimeter-scale motions on the Earth's surface over several square meters to hundreds of square kilometers.

Laser Strainmeters

Laser Strainmeters are long-baseline (on the order of 0.5 km) measurements of deformation on the Earth's surface.

Borehole Instrumentation

Borehole instrumentation is grouted in place 100 to 250 m below the surface to operate at the low noise levels required to capture small, short term transients. The instrumentation in the borehole casing can include:

  • Borehole Strainmeters — to measure, after processing, crustal deformation on a timescale of less than a second to weeks or months.
  • Borehole Seismometers — to detect seismic waves at periods of several minutes or less.
  • Borehole Pore Pressure Sensors — designed to measure fluctuations in groundwater pressure to help characterize the hydrological response of sites at time scales of seconds to years.
  • Borehole Tiltmeters — to measure tilt from crustal deformation due to deep earth processes such as volcanism and water table recharge/discharge over periods of seconds to weeks.


Meteorological Systems can be co-located with other geodetic instruments to provide near-surface atmospheric measurements.

Tide Gauge

Tide Gauge Systems can be co-located with other geodetic instruments to provide sea level measurements.


Last modified: 2020-08-18  19:25:42  America/Denver