Physical applications of GPS geodesy: a review

Bock, Y, Melgar D.  2016.  Physical applications of GPS geodesy: a review. Reports on Progress in Physics. 79

Date Published:



1992 landers earthquake, base-line interferometry, climate and sea level, crustal deformation, Geodesy, Glacial, global positioning system, gps meteorology, hector-mine-earthquake, isostatic-adjustment, natural hazards, real-time GPS, san-andreas fault, seismogeodesy, sumatra-andaman earthquake, tohoku-oki earthquake, western united-states


Geodesy, the oldest science, has become an important discipline in the geosciences, in large part by enhancing Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities over the last 35 years well beyond the satellite constellation's original design. The ability of GPS geodesy to estimate 3D positions with millimeter-level precision with respect to a global terrestrial reference frame has contributed to significant advances in geophysics, seismology, atmospheric science, hydrology, and natural hazard science. Monitoring the changes in the positions or trajectories of GPS instruments on the Earth's land and water surfaces, in the atmosphere, or in space, is important for both theory and applications, from an improved understanding of tectonic and magmatic processes to developing systems for mitigating the impact of natural hazards on society and the environment. Besides accurate positioning, all disturbances in the propagation of the transmitted GPS radio signals from satellite to receiver are mined for information, from troposphere and ionosphere delays for weather, climate, and natural hazard applications, to disturbances in the signals due to multipath reflections from the solid ground, water, and ice for environmental applications. We review the relevant concepts of geodetic theory, data analysis, and physical modeling for a myriad of processes at multiple spatial and temporal scales, and discuss the extensive global infrastructure that has been built to support GPS geodesy consisting of thousands of continuously operating stations. We also discuss the integration of heterogeneous and complementary data sets from geodesy, seismology, and geology, focusing on crustal deformation applications and early warning systems for natural hazards.






Scripps Publication ID: