Fleury-la-Vallée, France
Fleury-la-Vallée, France

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Bouin M.N.,Institute Geographique National LAREG | Bouin M.N.,Meteo - France | Woppelmann G.,University of La Rochelle
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2010

Space geodesy applications have mainly been limited to horizontal deformations due to a number of restrictions on the vertical component accuracy. Monitoring vertical land motion is nonetheless of crucial interest in observations of long-term sea level change or postglacial rebound measurements. Here, we present a global vertical velocity field obtained with more than 200 permanent GPS stations, most of them colocated with tide gauges (TGs). We used a state of the art, homogeneous processing strategy to ensure that the reference frame was stable throughout the observation period of almost 10 yr. We associate realistic uncertainties to our vertical rates, taking into account the time-correlation noise in the time-series. The results are compared with two independent geophysical vertical velocity fields: (1) vertical velocity estimates using long-term TG records and (2) postglacial model predictions from the ICE-5G (VM2) adjustment. The quantitative agreement of the GPS vertical velocities with the 'internal estimates' of vertical displacements using the TG record is very good, with a mean difference of -0.13 ± 1.64 mm yr-1 on more than 100 sites. For 84 per cent of the GPS stations considered, the vertical velocity is confirmed by the TG estimate to within 2 mm yr-1. The overall agreement with the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) model is good, with discrepancy patterns related either to a local misfit of the model or to active tectonics. For 72 per cent of the sites considered, the predictions of the GIA model agree with the GPS results to within two standard deviations. Most of the GPS velocities showing discrepancies with respect to the predictions of the GIA model are, however, consistent with previously published space geodesy results. We, in turn, confirm the value of 1.8 ± 0.5 mm yr-1 for the 20th century average global sea level rise, and conclude that GPS is now a robust tool for vertical land motion monitoring which is accurate at least at 1 mm yr-1. © 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 RAS.

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