An impact of estimating tropospheric delay gradients on tropospheric delay estimations in the summer using the Japanese nationwide GPS array



[1] We used various analysis strategies to evaluate zenith tropospheric delays (ZTDs) retrieved from the Japanese nationwide Global Positioning System (GPS) array in the summer of 1996. We compared results from the network solution obtained by daily routine data analyses and two-point positioning analyses with and without a tropospheric delay gradient model. We investigated two 14-day periods in summer 1996, when water vapor distributions were highly azimuthally asymmetric. ZTD differences up to 4 mm, dependent on clusters used in the network analysis, were found between the network and the point analyses. We also found that differences in the estimated ZTD between the two-point positioning analyses were correlated with the north components of the estimated tropospheric delay gradients. This is consistent with our simulation studies based on the north-south asymmetry in the satellite coverage. The estimated tropospheric delay gradient vectors averaged over the periods pointed southward, which matches with the general meteorological condition in summer over the Japanese Islands. The temporal and spatial variations in the gradient estimates matched well with the moisture field determined by ZTD, in particular, during the passage of a weather front. Thus, tropospheric delay gradients obtained by GPS are expected to contain real horizontally anisotropic distribution of water vapor.