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Precipitable water vapor estimates from homogeneously reprocessed GPS data: an intertechnique comparison in Antarctica


Thomas, ID and King, MA and Clarke, PJ and Penna, NT, Precipitable water vapor estimates from homogeneously reprocessed GPS data: an intertechnique comparison in Antarctica, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, (D4) Article D04107. ISSN 0148-0227 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2010JD013889


Homogeneously reprocessed GPS data offer the possibility of an accurate, stable, and increasingly long‐term record of integrated precipitable water vapor (PW) of particular value in data sparse regions. We present such a global reanalysis of GPS data, focusing on 12 Antarctic sites. We show stepwise improvements of GPS zenith total delay (ZTD) estimates upon adoption of each of (1) absolute antenna phase centre variations, (2) VMF1 tropospheric mapping functions, and (3) an accurate model of a priori zenith hydrostatic delay (ZHD) from observed surface meteorological data. The cumulative effect of these three additions to the analysis is a systematic decrease in the magnitude of GPS estimates of ZTD by an average of ∼11 mm ZTD (∼1.8 mm PW). The resultant GPS PW data set for 2004 shows a mean bias to radiosonde measurements of ‐0.48 mm PW. Our conclusion is that, in Antarctica at least, a proportion of the widely observed bias between GPS and radiosonde measurements can be explained by earlier GPS analysis deficiencies. We also compare our GPS PW measurements with AIRS and MODIS level 2 PW products. The GPS agreements with AIRS and MODIS are comparable. Reanalyzed GPS gives typically larger measurements than AIRS with a mean site bias of 0.58 mm PW and a mean rms of 1.24 mm PW. By contrast, the GPS measurements are typically smaller than those from MODIS, with a mean site bias of ‐0.35 mm PW and rms of 1.42 mm PW. PW estimates from reprocessed GPS solutions using state‐of‐the‐art models now have greater potential for assimilation into regional or global numerical weather models.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:GPS, time series, precipitable water vapour
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geophysics
Research Field:Geodesy
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:King, MA (Professor Matt King)
ID Code:89662
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:40
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2014-03-11
Last Modified:2014-05-26

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