Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Geophysics, Geodesy

Department or School/College

Department of Geosciences

Committee Chair

Rebecca Bendick

Commitee Members

Steven Sheriff, Marco Maneta, Simon Williams, Solomon Harar, Katie Keranen, James Staub


1. Continental tectonics; East African Rift; extensional tectonics; continental mechanics, 2. GPS vertical displacement time series; CRU and GRACE monthly time series; hydrologic loading; amplitude; phase, 3. Tme series; maximum likelihood; noise model; power û law index


The University of Montana


1. 27 campaign and 17 continuous GPS sites spanning the Ethiopian Highlands, Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), and Somali Platform in Ethiopia and Eritrea were measured for varying durations between 1995 and 2014. Velocities at these sites show that present day finite strain rates in NE Africa can be approximated at the continent scale by opening on a simple tectonic boundary within the Ethiopian Rift. Observations from the Somali Platform require relative velocities within the Somali plate to be less than 1 mm/yr. Observations from the Ethiopian Highlands allow relative velocities no greater than 1-2 mm/yr within the Nubia plate; statistically nonzero velocities occur predominantly in the high elevation region immediately west of the active rift.



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