Assessment of continental hydrosphere loading using GNSS measurements

Michał Piotr Zygmunt, Marcin Rajner, Tomasz Liwosz


Presented paper is dedicated to problems of deformation of the Earth's crust as a response to the surface loading caused by continental waters. The aim of this study was to specify areas particularly vulnerable to studied deformation and to compare calculated and observed displacements. Information of the continental water volume was taken from the WaterGAP Global Hydrological Model. Calculated values of the deformations were verified with the results obtained with programs SPOTL and grat. Vertical deformations were almost 10 times higher than the deformation in the horizontal plane, for which reason later part of the paper focuses on the former. In order to check agreement of the calculated and observed deformation 23 stations of International GNSS Service (IGS) were selected and divided into three groups (inland,

near the shoreline and islands). Before comparison outliers and discontinuities were removed from GNSS observations. Modelled and observed signals were centred. The analysed time series of the vertical displacements showed that only for the inland stations it is possible to effectively remove displacements caused by mass transfer in the hydrosphere. For stations located in the coastal regions or islands, it is necessary to consider additional movement effects resulting from indirect ocean tidal loading or atmosphere loading.


Load Love Numbers; Green’s functions; WGHM; GNSS; Crustal deformation

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