Comparison of non-tidal loading data for application in a secular terrestrial reference frame

Matthias Glomsda, Mathis Bloßfeld, Manuela Seitz, Detlef Angermann, Florian Seitz

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2 Scopus citations


The Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut der Technischen Universität München (DGFI-TUM) is one of the three Combination Centres of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service for the International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS). In its upcoming realization of the ITRS, the DTRF2020, DGFI-TUM will again correct for non-tidal loading (NTL) effects at the normal equation level. Next to the dedicated NTL data set for the ITRS 2020 realization provided by the Global Geophysical Fluid Center (GGFC), we also considered the data provided by the Earth System Modelling group of the Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (ESMGFZ). Besides also comprising all NTL components (atmospheric, oceanic, hydrological) and being mass conserving, the ESMGFZ data has the advantage of daily availability and is already in use at DGFI-TUM. The decision for one or the other data set depends on their suitability for a secular terrestrial reference frame like the DTRF2020, which will be assessed in this work. Although we also compare the site displacements induced by NTL to the residuals of station positions of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems, we will not evaluate the quality of the underlying geophysical models per se. The two data sets differ w.r.t. the underlying hydrological models and the treatment of non-tidal oceanic loading, but the most relevant difference is given in terms of trends in the displacement time-series. After a close investigation of the latter, we finally decided to apply the GGFC contribution to the ITRS 2020 realization in the DTRF2020. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • DTRF
  • GGFC
  • Non-tidal loading
  • Site displacements
  • Terrestrial reference frame


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