ES Chronicles Home > Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO)

The Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO)

PBO-ES Component

The PBO is a major component of EarthScope. Scientists developed this network of instruments to carefully measure changes in the Earth's surface caused by the interaction between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates along the border of western United States and Alaska.

The PBO system employs a variety of technologies and approaches to make these detailed measurements of the Earth's surface and near-surface motion, including Global Positioning System (GPS) stations, laser strainmeters, accelerometers, and geodetic imaging. The data provided by the PBO offers valuable new insights into many Earth processes such as earthquakes, volcanism, landslides, and fluid injection. It is even being used as a hydrology monitor to help manage water resources by offering new ways to measure groundwater, soil moisture, snow, and ice.

The Principal Investigators (PI) for the Plate Boundary Observatory are UNAVCO President, Dr. M. Meghan Miller and Director of UNAVCO Geodetic Infrastructure, Dr. Glen Mattioli.

PBO Overview - 5:40

In this video, Glen Mattioli, UNAVCO's director of geodetic infrastructure, presents an overview of PBO activities and impact.