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History of Development

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The group of experts, who had been engaged in studying movements of the Earth’s crust surface since 1983 became the basis of creation of LGPS at the Research Station RAS (RS RAS) on the 19th of February, 2011. Originally, these studies were carried out by means of traditional land geodesy methods (length measurements by laser) which made it possible to receive data about the relation of deformation processes with elastic energy accumulation and other geophysical parameters in different parts of the Earth’s crust.    

Since 1992, many domestic and foreign partners have been assisting with introducing the Global Positioning System methods at the RS RAS. Unlike traditional land linear-angular measurements, GPS method possesses obvious advantages. GPS measurements do not call for direct visibility between the observed sites, nor do they depend on weather conditions and they can be carried out twenty-four-hour a day. At the same time, GPS methods have no size limitations of the simultaneously covered areas: it can be a small plot or the whole surface of the Earth.

The space geodesy works promoted the development of the Central Asian GPS network. Originally, two observation networks were being created simultaneously.  One of them, conditionally called as "German", was created on the initiative of scientists from the Geological Research Center of Potsdam, the Research Station RAS, the Engineering-geological and Environmental Research Center RAS and the Institute of Astronomy RAS with participation of the experts from the Institute of Physics of the Earth RAS, the Institute of Seismology NAS of Kyrgyzstan, the Institute of Seismology and Institute of Astronomy NAS of Uzbekistan and Geodesic Services of these countries.  Forty pioneering sites were located in four Central Asian countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Later, the network was expanded to 90 sites covering the main part of the Tien Shan, Tarim and Northern Pamir (approx. 1200x1800 km2).

Today, the “German” GPS network does not exist for the most part, but some sites at the territory of Kyrgyzstan are still measured.

The second network was created by collaborative efforts of scientists from the USA, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and it was originally called as “American”. Unlike the “German” one, this network covered a smaller territory with a denser location of observation sites. In 1992, installed and measured were 13 pioneering sites near Almaty and in the northern part of the Issyk-Kul Lake. In 1993, the number of sites reached 86, and 18 field groups conducted the largest measurement campaign.  Later, the “American” network was expanded and condensed each year, and it covered a significant part of the Central Asia (see pic.)

Experts from the RS RAS developed and produced the unique devices for installation of the new type of GPS marks. These devices were adapted for security and reliability of measurements in local conditions. And so, since 1995, GPS measurements were carried out on the new marks.  In 1997, a local network of 25 sites was deployed at the foothills of Kyrgyz Mountain Range southward of Bishkek. Its purpose was to observe the deformation field around Bishkek and to improve the methods of GPS measuring. Later, the Bishkek local GPS network was expanded and condensed (to 42 sites). It is measured several times a year up to date.  Local network sites are located at a distance from ~2 to ~40 km from each other, ~9 km on the average.

In 1998, experts from the RS RAS installed and measured the first GPS sites in the central part of Kazakhstan. In 2002, a new network of 35 sites was created at the territory of Uzbekistan which covered Fergana Depression and western prongs of Tien Shan. Since 2002, our laboratory receives data of GPS measurements from the territory of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region (China) on the base of exchange. In 2007-2008, GPS network was installed and measured at the territory of Tajikistan covering Pamir Mountains and Tajik Depression. In 2009, the number of Central Asian GPS network sites with available data totaled >550. This number includes 13 permanent stations, 3 of which are included in the IGS global network.


Пункты наблюдения и динамика развития Центрально-Азиатской GPS сети

Observation sites and development dynamics of the Central Asian GPS network.




Geographic location

40 km. from Bishkek