New Mexico Tech
Earth and Environmental Science

ERTH 455 / GEOP 555 - Geodetic Methods

ERTH 455 / GEOP 555 - Geodetic Methods



Theory and application of modern geodetic tools to measure Earth's surface deformation with emphasis on GPS and InSAR. Data processing from raw data to kinematic products. Evaluation of signals and modeling of their sources. Applications range magma system characterization and analysis of slip during an earthquake to interseismic strain analysis and evaluation of changes in the hydrosphere such as glacial melt, seasonal precipitation effects and ground water level monitoring. Class includes 2 field trips to nearby sites early in the semester for GPS campaign deployments and data collection.


Linear Algebra (MATH 254), some programming experience (ERTH 205, ERTH401), or consent of instructor

Required Text:

No textbook required, but required readings will be posted on the class website.

Course Requirements:

There will be approx. 5 homework assignments roughly every three weeks throughout the semester. Many of these assignments will require you to write code and produce computational results using MATLAB or Python (preferred). This software is available in the computer labs across campus or you may purchase a student copy of MATLAB (Python is free).

You will prepare a term project including an in-class presentation and an expository term paper of roughly 10-12 pages. The topic of this project should be related to the course content and objectives and should involve some data processing, modeling and interpretation. Your topic must be approved by the instructor before you begin to work on it. You might apply techniques from the course to process, analyze and interpret data that you have gathered in your research, or you might choose one of the provided projects. If you choose thesis related work, it must be a new aspect; recycling of existing work is not permitted. In-class presentations of the results will be made during the last week of classes.


Homework: 15%, Labs: 45%, Term Project 40%. Grades will be assigned for each lab and homework assignment based upon assignment completeness and accuracy. Final grade is average of individual lab exercise grades. Unless otherwise noted, assignments will be due one week after they are assigned – they must be submitted prior to the beginning of subsequent lab period. Assignments are due both electronically and in print, and must be submitted via email. Assignments will not be accepted late! There are no exams in this class.

Lecture Materials

Week 1 August 21 Lecture 1 Introduction, logistics
August 23 Lecture 2 Applications
August 23 LAB 1 Getting accounts set up (geodesy lab), Shell, Make a plot
Week 2 August 21 Lecture 3 Linear Algebra Review (board work)
August 23 Lecture 4 GPS Basics, Coordinate Systems
August 23 LAB 2 Linear Algebra, Coordinate Conversions
Week 3 September 04 Labor Day
September 06 Lecture 5 GPS Basics: Signals, Pseudorange Measurement Model
September 06 LAB 3 Pseudorange Position Estimation
Week 4 September 11 Lecture 6 GPS Phase Measurement Model
September 13 Lecture 7 GPS Error Treatment et al.
September 13 LAB 4 Static Positioning Setup
Week 5 September 18 Lecture 8 Kinematic GPS
September 20 Lecture 9 Esoteric GPS & How to get Data?
September 20 LAB 5 Static Positioning
September 23 Sevilletta Campaign Setup
Week 6 September 25 Lecture 10 GPS data sources
September 27 Lecture 11 InSAR Intro
September 27 LAB 6 Kinematic Positioning
Week 7 October 02 Lecture 12 SAR, Interferogram Making
October 04 Lecture 13 Topography Correction
October 04 LAB 7 GMTSAR Intro
Week 8 October 09 Lecture 14 InSAR Phase Unwrapping
October 11 Lecture 15 InSAR Phase Unwrapping & Time Series
October 11 NO LAB
Week 9 October 16 Lecture 16 InSAR Intro cont'd
October 18 Lecture 17 Live Processing: Sentinel Data
October 18 LAB 8 GMTSAR Time Series Analysis & Getting Data
October 18 5 PM Homework 1 due
Week 10 October 23 Lecture 18 Parameter Estimation
October 25 Lecture 19 Reading (RG out)
October 25 LAB 9 GMTSAR Time Series Analysis continued (RG out)
Week 11 October 30 Lecture 20 Parameter Estimation
November 01 Lecture 21 Strain
November 01 LAB 10 Time series Fitting
Week 12 November 06 Lecture 22 Strain 2
November 08 Lecture 23 Plate Motions
November 08 LAB 11 Fitting Timeseries w/ CATS
November 10 Term Paper Draft Due (5PM)
Week 13 November 13 Lecture 24 Fault Slip
November 15 Lecture 25 Slip Inversion
November 15 LAB 12 GMT
Week 14 November 20 Lecture 26 Regularization
November 22 Lecture 27 Volcano Deformation 1
November 22 No Lab - Happy Thanksgiving
November 22 HW3 due (5PM)
Week 15 November 27 Lecture 28 Volcano Deformation 2
November 29 Lecture 29 Surface Loading
November 29 LAB 13 Volcano Deformation

rg <at> nmt <dot> edu | Last modified: November 29 2017 20:14.