In order to investigate the effect of different loading models on the nonlinear variations in Global Positioning System (GPS) height time series, the characteristics of annual signals (amplitude and phase) of GPS time series, loading series from Deutsche GeoForschungsZentrum, Germany (GFZ) and School and Observatory of Earth Sciences, France (EOST) at 633 global GPS stations are processed and analyzed. The change characteristics of the root mean square (RMS) reduction rate, annual amplitude and phase of GPS time series after environmental loading corrections (ELCs) are then detected. Results show that ELCs have a positive effect on the reduction in the nonlinear deformation contained in most GPS stations around the world. RMS reduction rates are positive at 82.6% stations after GFZ correction and 87.4% after EOST correction, and the average reduction rates of all stations are 10.6% and 15.4%, respectively. As for the environmental loading series from GFZ and EOST, their average annual amplitudes are 2.7 and 3.1 mm, which explains ~40% annual amplitude of GPS height time series (7.2 mm). Further analysis of some specific stations indicates that the annual phase difference between GPS height time series and the environmental loading series is an important reason that affects the reduction rates of the RMS and annual amplitude. The linear relationship between the annual phase difference and the annual amplitude reduction rate is significant. The linear fitting results show that when there is no annual phase difference between GPS and loading series, the reduction rates of the RMS and annual amplitude will increase to the maximum of 15.6% and 41.6% for GFZ, and 22.0% and 46.6% for EOST.
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