PIA03625: Earthquake Signal Visible in GRACE Data
Target Name: Earth
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)
Spacecraft: GRACE Satellite
Instrument: K-Band Ranging System
Product Size: 1302 x 1326 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: University of Texas Center for Space Research
Full-Res TIFF: PIA03625.tif (5.185 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA03625.jpg (150.8 kB)

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This figure shows the effect of the December 2004 great Sumatra earthquake on the Earth’s gravity field as observed by GRACE. The signal is expressed in terms of the relative acceleration of the two GRACE satellites, in this case a few nanometers per second squared, or about 1 billionth of the acceleration we experience everyday at the Earth’s surface.GRACE observations show comparable signals in the region of the earthquake.

Other natural variations are also apparent in the expected places, whereas no other significant change would be expected in the region of the earthquake

GRACE, twin satellites launched in March 2002, are making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field which will lead to discoveries about gravity and Earth's natural systems. These discoveries could have far-reaching benefits to society and the world's population.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/University of Texas Center for Space Research

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