IC-WG1.2: Modelling environmental loading effects for Reference Frame realizations

Terms of Reference

The accuracy and precision of current space geodetic techniques are such that displacements due to non-tidal surface mass loading are measurable. Many scientific studies have already considered atmospheric loading corrections at the observation level. The modeling of other non-tidal loading effects have been also investigated by various authors. In parallel, a posteriori corrections have been shown to slightly decrease the variance factor of a Terrestrial Reference Frame (TRF) multi-technique combination but the improvement at some sites was also counterbalanced by degradation at others.

There are still open questions regarding the application of loading corrections for the generation of operational geodetic products, either a priori or a posteriori: accuracy of the models in all frequency bands - sub-daily band is the most important for a priori corrections -, too few studies about available loading model agreement have been carried out, proper mass conservation of all contributions and degree 0 of each contribution, methods that should be use for interpolating the loading displacements, required model resolution, reference loads that are or should be used for geodetic products, contribution of ice melting at high latitude which is not modeled in current continental water loading models. The optimal usage of loading models is still to be defined in all possible applications.

The goal of this working group is to ensure that the optimal usage of loading model is made for TRF computation.

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