Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

Comparison of very long baseline interferometry, GPS, and satellite laser ranging height residuals from ITRF2005 using spectral and correlation methods



[1] For the first time, the ITRF2005 input data are in the form of time series of station positions and Earth orientation parameters, together with full variance-covariance information. The first step of the ITRF2005 analysis consists of rigorously stacking each time series to yield a long-term solution per technique. As a by-product, time series of position residuals contain the nonlinear motion of points over the Earth's surface. In this paper, the height residual time series of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI), Global Positioning System (GPS), and satellite laser ranging (SLR) solutions submitted to ITRF2005 are compared. We note that the interpretation of the ITRF2005 position residual time series as observed physical motions at the various stations is delicate due to the inhomogeneous site distribution. We estimate that the network effect may introduce an averaged scatter of 3 and 2 mm in the VLBI and SLR height residuals, respectively. Although noise levels are different among these three techniques, a common 1.0 cycles per year (cpy) frequency is clearly detected. The GPS height annual signal exhibits significant regional correlations that are confirmed by VLBI and SLR measurements in some colocated sites. Significant power near frequencies 2.00, 3.12, and 4.16 cpy is also detected in the individual GPS height residuals time series as mentioned by Ray et al. (2007). However, neither VLBI nor SLR show any significant signals at these frequencies for colocated sites. The agreement between detrended height time series at colocated sites is quantified using a novel method based on Kalman filtering and on maximum likelihood estimation. The GPS and VLBI measurements are shown to agree fairly well for most of the colocated sites. However, agreement is not generally observed in the GPS and SLR comparisons. A study of the interannual signal at colocated sites indicates that the good correlation cannot be completely attributed to the annual harmonic.