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Modeling weather fronts to improve GPS heights: A new tool for GPS meteorology?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Geoffrey Blewitt


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The precision of vertical position and atmospheric water vapor content determined by the Global Positioning System (GPS) is limited by errors due to tropospheric delay. One factor is the spatial and temporal variability in tropospheric refractivity caused by passing weather fronts. We can explain some of the temporal characteristics of estimated tropospheric delay in terms of a simple path delay model as a function of frontal parameters. These results suggest that GPS could be used to estimate the geometry and passage time of a frontal zone. We have developed indices which detect tropospheric variability from GPS data alone; the detection rate of fronts with this approach is up to 70%. Once detected, we eliminated days affected by fronts or other tropospheric variability from the time series of station height estimates, resulting in improved long-term repeatability. The additional variance attributable to fronts is estimated to be up to 10 mm2 at Herstmonceux, England, where fronts occur every 2-3 days. The effect of fronts on the horizontal station component is up to 80% smaller than for the vertical. Studies in the field of GPS meteorology may be improved by estimating frontal parameters. Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gregorius TLH, Blewitt G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth

Year: 1999

Volume: 104

Issue: 7

Pages: 15261-15279

Print publication date: 10/07/1999

ISSN (print): 0148-0227

ISSN (electronic): 2156-2202

Publisher: American Geophysical Union


DOI: 10.1029/1998JB900067


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