New Mexico Tech
Earth and Environmental Science

ERTH 471 / GEOP 572 - Geodetic Methods

ERTH 471 / GEOP 572 - 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), Calculus (MATH 132), min. of ERTH 205 as programming experience, 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: 20%, Labs: 40%, 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.

Tentative Schedule:

Week 1 August 17 Lecture 1 Introduction, logistics
August 19 Lecture 2 Applications
August 19 LAB 1 Getting accounts set up (geodesy lab), M/P intro, explanation of provided term projects
Week 2 August 24 Lecture 3 GPS/GNSS: History, Architecture, Signal Structure
August 26 Lecture 4 GPS/GNSS: Basics
August 26 LAB 2 Coordinate Conversions
Week 3 August 31 Lecture 5 GPS: Pseudorange Measurement Model / Taylor Series
September 02 Lecture 6 GPS: Pseudorange Measurement
September 02 LAB 3 Pseudorange Position Estimation
Week 4 September 07 Labor Day, no class
September 09 Lecture 7 GPS: Carrier Phase Measurement
September 02 LAB 4 estimating static positions
Week 5 September 14 Lecture 8 GPS: Ambiguity Resolution / Error Treatment
September 16 Lecture 9 GPS: Error Treatment, Kinematic
September 16 LAB 5 static positioning 2
September 18 5 PM, Term project idea due
Week 6 September 21 Lecture 10 GPS: Kinematic and Esoteric (SNR, phase delay)
September 23 Lecture 11 Live Processing
September 23 LAB 6 kinematic processing, Gorkha Earthquake
Week 7 September 28 Lecture 12 Measurement systems II: InSAR - Intro, SAR
September 30 Lecture 13 Measurement systems II: InSAR - Interferogram, topography
September 30 LAB 7 Processing w/ gmtSAR
Week 8 October 05 Lecture 14 Measurement systems II: InSAR - Unwrapping the phase
October 07 Lecture 15 Measurement systems II: InSAR - timeseries, error treatment
October 07 LAB 8 gmtSAR time series, getting SAR data
Week 9 October 12 Lecture 16 Measurement systems III: Gravity (guest: Alex Rinehart)
October 14 Lecture 17 Measurement systems III: Gravity (guest: Alex Rinehart)
October 14 LAB 9 Gravity Lab (guest: Alex Rinehart)
Week 10 October 19 Lecture 18 Parameter Estimation
October 21 Lecture 19 Turcotte & Schubert Ch 2: Stress & Strain
October 21 NO LAB No Lab
October 21 5 PM Homework 1 due
Week 11 October 26 Lecture 20 Strain 1
October 28 Lecture 21 Strain 2, 2D Example
October 28 LAB 10 Making Timeseries / Velocities
Week 12 November 02 Lecture 22 2D Strain Examples
November 04 Lecture 23 Plate Kinematics
November 04 LAB 11 Time Series Fitting
November 04 5 PM Homework 2 due
November 06 5 PM, Term paper draft due
Week 13 November 09 Lecture 24 Fault Slip
November 11 Lecture 25 Inversion for Slip on a Fault
November 11 LAB 12 GMT
November 13 Term paper comments back to students
Week 14 November 16 Lecture 26 Slip Inversion / Regularization
November 18 Lecture 27 Volcano Deformation
November 18 LAB 13 Volcano Deformation
November 18 5 PM HW 3 due
Week 15 November 23 Lecture 28 Volcano Deformation 2
November 25 Lecture 29 Deformation due to Surface Loading
November 25 LAB 14 Surface Loading
Week 16 November 30 Project Presentations
December 02 Project Presentations
December 02 Project Presentations, lab 15 due
December 02 5 PM HW 4 due (OPTIONAL)
December 04 5 PM, Term paper due
Week 17 December 7--11 no class, finals

rg <at> nmt <dot> edu | Last modified: November 25 2015 20:52.