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Sensors 2016, 16(8), 1211; doi:10.3390/s16081211

Seasonal Mass Changes and Crustal Vertical Deformations Constrained by GPS and GRACE in Northeastern Tibet

1
School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
3
Department of Civil Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan
4
School of Land Resources and Surveying, Guangxi Teachers Education University, Nanning 530001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jason K. Levy
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 9 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 2 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6357 KB, uploaded 2 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Surface vertical deformation includes the Earth’s elastic response to mass loading on or near the surface. Continuous Global Positioning System (CGPS) stations record such deformations to estimate seasonal and secular mass changes. We used 41 CGPS stations to construct a time series of coordinate changes, which are decomposed by empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs), in northeastern Tibet. The first common mode shows clear seasonal changes, indicating seasonal surface mass re-distribution around northeastern Tibet. The GPS-derived result is then assessed in terms of the mass changes observed in northeastern Tibet. The GPS-derived common mode vertical change and the stacked Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mass change are consistent, suggesting that the seasonal surface mass variation is caused by changes in the hydrological, atmospheric and non-tidal ocean loads. The annual peak-to-peak surface mass changes derived from GPS and GRACE results show seasonal oscillations in mass loads, and the corresponding amplitudes are between 3 and 35 mm/year. There is an apparent gradually increasing gravity between 0.1 and 0.9 μGal/year in northeast Tibet. Crustal vertical deformation is determined after eliminating the surface load effects from GRACE, without considering Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) contribution. It reveals crustal uplift around northeastern Tibet from the corrected GPS vertical velocity. The unusual uplift of the Longmen Shan fault indicates tectonically sophisticated processes in northeastern Tibet. View Full-Text
Keywords: CGPS time series; GRACE observations and surface loads; empirical orthogonal function; crustal vertical deformation CGPS time series; GRACE observations and surface loads; empirical orthogonal function; crustal vertical deformation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pan, Y.; Shen, W.-B.; Hwang, C.; Liao, C.; Zhang, T.; Zhang, G. Seasonal Mass Changes and Crustal Vertical Deformations Constrained by GPS and GRACE in Northeastern Tibet. Sensors 2016, 16, 1211.

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