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Blewitt G GPS and Space-Based Geodetic Methods. In: Gerald Schubert (editor-in- chief) Treatise on Geophysics, 2nd edition, Vol 3. Oxford: Elsevier; 2015. p. 307-338. Author's personal copy
3.11 GPS and Space-Based Geodetic Methods
G Blewitt, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA
ã 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
3.11.1 The Development of Space Geodetic Methods 307 188.8.131.52 Introduction 307
184.108.40.206 The Limitations of Classical Surveying Methods 308 220.127.116.11 The Impact of Space Geodesy 309 18.104.22.168 Lunar Laser Ranging Development 310 22.214.171.124 Satellite Laser Ranging Development 310 126.96.36.199 VLBI Development 311
188.8.131.52 Global Positioning System Development 311 184.108.40.206 Comparing GPS with VLBI and SLR 313 220.127.116.11 GPS Receivers in Space: LEO GPS 314 18.104.22.168 Global Navigation Satellite Systems 314 22.214.171.124 International GNSS Service 315
3.11.2 GPS and Basic Principles 316 126.96.36.199 Basic Principles 316 188.8.131.52 GPS Design and Consequences 318 184.108.40.206 Introducing High-Precision GPS 319 220.127.116.11 GPS Observable Modeling 321 18.104.22.168 Data Processing Software 324
22.214.171.124 Real-Time GPS and Accuracy Versus Latency 326 3.11.3 Global and Regional Measurement of Geophysical Processes 326 126.96.36.199 Introduction 326 188.8.131.52 Estimation of Station Velocity 328 184.108.40.206 Plate Tectonic Rotations 329
220.127.116.11 Plate Boundary Strain Accumulation 330 18.104.22.168 The Earthquake Cycle 332 22.214.171.124 Surface Mass Loading 334 References 335
3.11.1 The Development of Space Geodetic Methods introduced in the early 1970s with the development of lunar laser ranging (LLR), satellite laser ranging (SLR), and very long 126.96.36.199 Introduction baseline interferometry (VLBI) and soon to be followed by the
Geodesy is the science of accurately measuring and understand- Global Positioning System (GPS) (Smith and Turcotte, 1993). ing three fundamental properties of the Earth: (1) its gravit- The near future promises other new space geodetic systems ational field, (2) its geometric shape, and (3) its orientation in similar to GPS, which can be more generally called Global space (Torge, 2001). In recent decades, the growing emphasis Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSSs). In recent years, the GPS has been on the time variation of these ‘three pillars of geodesy’ has become commonplace, serving a diversity of applications
(Beutler et al., 2004), which has become possible owing to the from car navigation to surveying. Originally designed for few accuracy of new space-based geodetic methods and also owing meter-level positioning for military purposes, GPS is now rou- to a truly global reference system that only space geodesy can tinely used in many areas of geophysics (Bilham, 1991; Dixon, realize (Altamimi et al., 2001, 2002). As each of these three 1991; Hager et al., 1991; Segall and Davis, 1997), for example, properties is connected by physical laws and is forced by natural to monitor the movement of the Earth’s surface between points processes of scientific interest (Lambeck, 1988), thus, space on different continents with millimeter-level precision, essen- geodesy has become a highly interdisciplinary field, intersecting tially making it possible to observe plate tectonics as it happens. with a vast array of geophysical disciplines, including tectonics, The stringent requirements of geophysics are part of the reason Earth structure, seismology, oceanography, hydrology, atmo- as to why GPS has become as precise as it is today (Blewitt, 1993). spheric physics, meteorology, and climate change. This richness As will be described here, novel techniques have been developed of diversity has provided the impetus to develop space geodesy by researchers working in the field of geophysics and geodesy, as a precise geophysical tool that can probe the Earth and its resulting in an improvement of GPS precision by four orders of interacting spheres in ways never before possible (Smith and magnitude over the original design specifications. Owing to this Turcotte, 1993). high level of precision and the relative ease of acquiring GPS data, Borrowing from the fields of navigation and radio astron- GPS has revolutionized geophysics, as well as many other areas of omy and classical surveying, space geodetic methods were human endeavor (Minster et al., 2010).
Treatise on Geophysics, Second Edition http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-53802-4.00060-9 307 Treatise on Geophysics, 2nd edition, (2015), vol. 3, pp. 307-338
Author's personal copy
308 GPS and Space-Based Geodetic Methods
Whereas perhaps the general public may be more familiar Classical surveying methods were not truly three-dimen- with the georeferencing applications of GPS, say, to locate a sional. This is because geodetic networks were distinctly sepa- vehicle on a map, this chapter introduces space geodetic rated into horizontal networks and height networks, with poor methods with a special focus on GPS as a high-precision geo- connections between them. Horizontal networks relied on the detic technique and introduces the basic principles of geophys- measurement of angles (triangulation) and distances (trilatera- ical research applications that this capability enables. As an tion) between physical points (or ‘benchmarks’) marked on example of the exacting nature of modern GPS geodesy, Figure 1 top of triangulation pillars, and vertical networks mainly shows a geodetic GPS station of commonplace (but leading- depended on spirit leveling between height benchmarks. In edge) design now in the western United States, installed for principle, height networks could be loosely tied to horizontal purposes of measuring tectonic deformation across the bound- networks by collocation of measurement techniques at a subset ary between the North American and Pacific plates. This station of benchmarks, together with geometric observations of verti- was installed in 1996 at Slide Mountain, Nevada, as part of the cal angles. Practically, this was difficult to achieve, because of
BARGEN network (Bennett et al., 1998, 2003; Wernicke et al., the differing requirements on the respective networks. Hori- 2000). To mitigate the problem of very local, shallow surface zontal benchmarks could be separated further apart on hill motions (Wyatt, 1982), this station has a deep brace Wyatt-type tops and peaks, but height benchmarks were more efficiently monument design, by which the antenna is held fixed to the surveyed along valleys wherever possible. Moreover, the mea- Earth’s crust by four welded braces that are anchored 10 m surement of angles is not particularly precise and is subject to below the surface (and are decoupled by padded boreholes from significant systematic error, such as atmospheric refraction. the surface). Tests have shown that such monuments exhibit less Fundamentally, however, the height measured with respect environmentally caused displacement than those installed to a to the gravitational field (by spirit leveling) is not the same (previously more common) depth of 2m (Langbein et al., quantity as the geometric height, which is given relative to 1995). Time series of daily coordinate estimates from such some conventional ellipsoid (that in some average sense rep- sites indicate repeatability at the level of 1 mm horizontal, and resents sea level). Thus, the horizontal and height coordinate