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Article

Interannual Variability of GPS Heights and Environmental Parameters over Europe and the Mediterranean Area

1
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia (DIFA), University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2
CNR—Istituto di Scienze Marine, 34123 Trieste, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jean-Paul Boy
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(8), 1554; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081554
Received: 22 March 2021 / Revised: 9 April 2021 / Accepted: 11 April 2021 / Published: 16 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS for Geosciences)
Vertical deformations of the Earth’s surface result from a host of geophysical and geological processes. Identification and assessment of the induced signals is key to addressing outstanding scientific questions, such as those related to the role played by the changing climate on height variations. This study, focused on the European and Mediterranean area, analyzed the GPS height time series of 114 well-distributed stations with the aim of identifying spatially coherent signals likely related to variations of environmental parameters, such as atmospheric surface pressure (SP) and terrestrial water storage (TWS). Linear trends and seasonality were removed from all the time series before applying the principal component analysis (PCA) to identify the main patterns of the space/time interannual variability. Coherent height variations on timescales of about 5 and 10 years were identified by the first and second mode, respectively. They were explained by invoking loading of the crust. Single-value decomposition (SVD) was used to study the coupled interannual space/time variability between the variable pairs GPS height–SP and GPS height–TWS. A decadal timescale was identified that related height and TWS variations. Features common to the height series and to those of a few climate indices—namely, the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the East Atlantic (EA), and the multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index (MEI)—were also investigated. We found significant correlations only with the MEI. The first height PCA mode of variability, showing a nearly 5-year fluctuation, was anticorrelated (−0.23) with MEI. The second mode, characterized by a decadal fluctuation, was well correlated (+0.58) with MEI; the spatial distribution of the correlation revealed, for Europe and the Mediterranean area, height decrease till 2015, followed by increase, while Scandinavian and Baltic countries showed the opposite behavior. View Full-Text
Keywords: GPS height variability; environmental parameters; principal component analysis (PCA); singular value decomposition (SVD) GPS height variability; environmental parameters; principal component analysis (PCA); singular value decomposition (SVD)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Elia, L.; Zerbini, S.; Raicich, F. Interannual Variability of GPS Heights and Environmental Parameters over Europe and the Mediterranean Area. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 1554. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081554

AMA Style

Elia L, Zerbini S, Raicich F. Interannual Variability of GPS Heights and Environmental Parameters over Europe and the Mediterranean Area. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(8):1554. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081554

Chicago/Turabian Style

Elia, Letizia, Susanna Zerbini, and Fabio Raicich. 2021. "Interannual Variability of GPS Heights and Environmental Parameters over Europe and the Mediterranean Area" Remote Sensing 13, no. 8: 1554. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081554

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