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Assessment of second- and third-order ionospheric effects on regional networks: case study in China with longer CMONOC GPS coordinate time series

ABSTRACT

Abstract Higher-order ionospheric (HOI) delays are one of the principal technique-specific error sources in precise global positioning system analysis and have been proposed to become a standard part of precise GPS data processing. In this research, we apply HOI delay corrections to the Crustal Movement Observation Network of China’s (CMONOC) data processing (from January 2000 to December 2013) and furnish quantitative results for the effects of HOI on CMONOC coordinate time series. The results for both a regional reference frame and global reference frame are analyzed and compared to clarify the HOI effects on the CMONOC network. We find that HOI corrections can effectively reduce the semi-annual signals in the northern and vertical components. For sites with lower semi-annual amplitudes, the average decrease in magnitude can reach 30 and 10 % for the northern and vertical components, respectively. The noise amplitudes with HOI corrections and those without HOI corrections are not significantly different. Generally, the HOI effects on CMONOC networks in a global reference frame are less obvious than the results in the regional reference frame, probably because the HOI-induced errors are smaller in comparison to the higher noise levels seen when using a global reference frame. Furthermore, we investigate the combined contributions of environmental loading and HOI effects on the CMONOC stations. The largest loading effects on the vertical displacement are found in the mid- to high-latitude areas. The weighted root mean square differences between the corrected and original weekly GPS height time series of the loading model indicate that the mass loading adequately reduced the scatter on the CMONOC height time series, whereas the results in the global reference frame showed better agreements between the GPS coordinate time series and the environmental loading. When combining the effects of environmental loading and HOI corrections, the results with the HOI corrections reduced the scatter on the observed GPS height coordinates better than the height when estimated without HOI corrections, and the combined solutions in the regional reference frame indicate more preferred improvements. Therefore, regional reference frames are recommended to investigate the HOI effects on regional networks.AbstractHigher-order ionospheric (HOI) delays are one of the principal technique-specific error sources in precise global positioning system analysis and have been proposed to become a standard part of precise GPS data processing. In this research, we apply HOI delay corrections to the Crustal Movement Observation Network of China’s (CMONOC) data processing (from January 2000 to December 2013) and furnish quantitative results for the effects of HOI on CMONOC coordinate time series. The results for both a regional reference frame and global reference frame are analyzed and compared to clarify the HOI effects on the CMONOC network. We find that HOI corrections can effectively reduce the semi-annual signals in the northern and vertical components. For sites with lower semi-annual amplitudes, the average decrease in magnitude can reach 30 and 10 % for the northern and vertical components, respectively. The noise amplitudes with HOI corrections and those without HOI corrections are not significantly different. Generally, the HOI effects on CMONOC networks in a global reference frame are less obvious than the results in the regional reference frame, probably because the HOI-induced errors are smaller in comparison to the higher noise levels seen when using a global reference frame. Furthermore, we investigate the combined contributions of environmental loading and HOI effects on the CMONOC stations. The largest loading effects on the vertical displacement are found in the mid- to high-latitude areas. The weighted root mean square differences between the corrected and original weekly GPS height time series of the loading model indicate that the mass loading adequately reduced the scatter on the CMONOC height time series, whereas the results in the global reference frame showed better agreements between the GPS coordinate time series and the environmental loading. When combining the effects of environmental loading and HOI corrections, the results with the HOI corrections reduced the scatter on the observed GPS height coordinates better than the height when estimated without HOI corrections, and the combined solutions in the regional reference frame indicate more preferred improvements. Therefore, regional reference frames are recommended to investigate the HOI effects on regional networks.