Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus


Department or School/College

Department of Geosciences

Committee Chair

Rebecca Bendick

Commitee Members

James Sears, Michael Stickney


GPS geodesy, fault slip, crustal velocity, kinematics


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Geology | Geophysics and Seismology | Tectonics and Structure


We derive surface velocities relative to North America, using data from 1989 through 2014 in the interior northwest, to investigate kinematics from the Snake River Plain (SRP) to the Canadian border. The Centennial Tectonic Belt (CTB) exhibits similarities to the main Basin and Range Province (BRP) that suggest the CTB is an extension of the BRP, including range and fault orientation, increasing velocity magnitudes westward, and a distinct high rate of strain across the Madison Range. Calculations of fault spreading rates and orientations from geodetic data show that several faults are more active than previously assumed when compared to seismic and paleoseismic rates, while structural and geomorphic rates do not exhibit consistent correlation. The northern section of the Madison Fault was previously estimated to be spreading less than 0.2 mm y-1, however we derived a rate of 1.2 mm y-1 from geodetic data constraining nearly half of the CTB spreading rate of 2.6 mm y-1 to the Madison Fault. Comparing the mean velocity of the CTB to that of the SRP we find a dextral slip of 0.9 mm y-1.



© Copyright 2016 Dylan Schmeelk