Effects of non-tidal loading applied in VLBI-only terrestrial reference frames

Matthias Glomsda, Manuela Seitz, Mathis Bloßfeld, Florian Seitz

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


We investigate the impact of the reduction of non-tidal loading (NTL) in the computation of secular terrestrial reference frames (TRFs) from Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations. There are no conventional models for NTL in the geodetic community yet, but the Global Geophysical Fluid Center prepared a set of corresponding site displacements for the 2020 realizations of the International Terrestrial Reference System. We make use of these data, which comprise the total NTL consisting of non-tidal atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrological loading. The displacement series contain linear trends (i.e., offsets plus drifts), and since these affect the estimated linear station positions and the realized geodetic datum in a secular TRF, we remove the trends before reducing the NTL in our computations. The displacements are applied at two different levels of the parameter estimation process: the observation and the normal equation level. This way, we can analyze whether the latter offers a suitable approximation if the original observations have not been reduced by NTL. We find that the TRF statistics are hardly affected by the NTL. The largest impact is given for the secular motion of antennas with short observation time spans. The application level is basically irrelevant for the linear antenna positions, but it leads to differences in the rates of the jointly estimated Earth orientation parameters (EOPs). Secular TRF solutions and session solutions deviate with respect to the parameterization of the antenna coordinates, and thus also with respect to the correlations between the estimated antenna parameters and the EOPs. Due to this, the consistently estimated EOP series also show differences. However, for both solution types the reduction of the NTL leads to a change of the annual signal in the EOP series.

FachzeitschriftJournal of Geodesy
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Aug. 2023


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