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Higher-order ionospheric effects on the GPS reference frame and velocities

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Liz Petrie, Professor Matt King, Professor Philip Moore, Dr David Lavallee



We describe how GPS time series are influenced by higher-order ionospheric effects over the last solar cycle (1995-2008) and examine implications for geophysical studies. Using 14 years of globally reprocessed solutions, we demonstrate the effect on the reference frame. Including second-and third-order ionospheric terms causes up to 10 mm difference in the smoothed transformation to the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) 2005, with the Z translation term dominant. Scale is also slightly affected, with a change of up to similar to 0.05 ppb. After transformation to ITRF2005, residual effects on vertical site velocities are as high as 0.34 mm yr(-1). We assess the effect of the magnetic field model on the second-order term and find a time-varying difference of 0-2 mm in the Z translation. We also assess the effect of omitting the third-order term. We find that while the second-order term is responsible for almost all the Z translation effects, it is the combination of the second-and third-order terms that causes the effect on scale. Comparison of our GPS reprocessing with ITRF2005 suggests that GPS origin rates may vary with time period. For example, we find Z translation rates of -0.82 +/- 0.17 mm yr(-1) for 1995-2008 and 0.17 +/- 0.24 mm yr(-1) for 1995-2005. If GPS were to contribute to origin rate definition for future ITRFs, higher-order ionospheric corrections would need to be applied due to their effect on translation parameters during solar maximum.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Petrie EJ, King MA, Moore P, Lavallee DA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

Year: 2010

Volume: 115

Issue: B3

Print publication date: 24/03/2010

Date deposited: 26/07/2010

ISSN (print): 1934-8843

ISSN (electronic): 1934-8592

Publisher: American Geophysical Union


DOI: 10.1029/2009JB006677


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