Long-term and seasonal displacements inferred from the regional GPS coordinate time series: case study in Central China Hefei City

  • Liansheng DengEmail author
  • Hua Chen
  • Jiafeng Ren
  • Yong Liao
Research Article


Analyzing the GPS coordinate time series plays an important role in the crustal deformation monitoring and surface mass variation interpretations. In this paper, we present the results of detailed studies concerning the analysis of the long-term GPS coordinate time series. We show what the characteristics of all stations is monitored and how to keep track of the variations for both horizontal and vertical components by using Lomb-Scargle periodogram method and Maximum Likelihood Estimation method. For the Hefei area, the horizontal components exhibit obvious linear trend, while the vertical components display significant seasonal fluctuations which can be approximated by a function of an annual and a semi-annual signal. Under the optimal noise models, there is a consistent southeast trend, with an average of 35.21 mm/yr in the direction of E20.91°S, in the horizontal components under the ITRF2014. The relative velocities between different stations are with variations of 0.5~1.5 mm/yr, and the southern stations indicate bigger relative velocities than the northern stations. The mean vertical velocity is 1.31 mm/yr, revealing an overall uplift for this area. Moreover, the vertical displacements from the surface loading models (SLMs) are computed to interpret the seasonal GPS vertical crustal deformations. There are good consistencies between the GPS and SLMs data. The solutions of the two different types of data are closely to each other, and the mean correlation coefficient is 0.55 between the GPS and SLMs displacement time series, demonstrating that the seasonal variations might originate from the same geophysical process. Our analysis can provide useful reference for comprehensive analysis of the regional GPS coordinate time series.


GPS time series Velocity Noise Seasonal signals Surface loading models 



We are grateful to the Surveying and Mapping Geomatics Center of Anhui and International GNSS Service (IGS) for providing the original datasets. Also many thanks for the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions, which help to improve the manuscript significantly. This research is supported by National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. 41525014), together with the Scientific Research Project of Hubei Provincial Department of Education (No. Q20194501), Surveying and Mapping Basic Research Program of National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (No.17-01-01) and Research Program of Hubei Polytechnic University (No.18xjz09R).


  1. Altamimi Z, Rebischung P, Métivier L, Collilieux X (2016) ITRF2014: a new release of the international terrestrial reference frame modeling nonlinear station motions[J]. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 121(8):6109–6131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amiri-Simkooei AR, Mohammadloo TH, Argus DF (2017) Multivariate analysis of GPS position time series of JPL second reprocessing campaign[J]. J Geod 91(6):685–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amos CB, Audet P, Hammond WC, Bürgmann R, Johanson IA, Blewitt G (2014) Uplift and seismicity driven by groundwater depletion in Central California[J]. Nature 509(7501):483–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aoki Y (2017) Space geodetic tools provide early warnings for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions[J]. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 122(4):3241–3244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Birhanu Y, Bendick R (2015) Monsoonal loading in Ethiopia and Eritrea from vertical GPS displacement time series[J]. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 120(10):7231–7238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blewitt G, Lavallée D (2002) Effect of annual signals on geodetic velocity[J]. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 107(B7):ETG-1–ETG 9-11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blewitt G, Lavallee D, Clarke P, Nurutdinov K (2001) A new global mode of earth deformation: seasonal cycle detected. Science 294:2342–2345. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bloßfeld M, Seitz M, Angermann D (2014) Non-linear station motions in epoch and multi-year reference frames[J]. J Geod 88(1):45–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bogusz J, Klos A (2016) On the significance of periodic signals in noise analysis of GPS station coordinates time series[J]. GPS Solutions 20(4):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Booker D, Clarke PJ, Lavallée DA (2014) Secular changes in Earth’s shape and surface mass loading derived from combinations of reprocessed global GPS networks[J]. J Geod 88(9):839–855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bos MS, Fernandes RMS, Williams SDP, Bastos L (2013) Fast error analysis of continuous GNSS observations with missing data[J]. J Geod 87(4):351–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Collilieux X, van Dam T, Ray J, Coulot D, Metivier L, Altamimi Z (2012) Strategies to mitigate aliasing of loading signals while estimating GPS frame parameters. J Geod 86:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Deng L, Jiang W, Li Z, Chen H et al (2017) Assessment of second- and third-order ionospheric effects on regional networks: case study in China with longer CMONOC GPS coordinate time series[J]. J Geod 91:207–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Deng L, Li Z, Wei N et al (2019) GPS-derived geocenter motion from the IGS second reprocessing campaign. Earth Planets and Space 71(1):74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dong DN, Fang P, Bock Y et al (2002) Anatomy of apparent seasonal variations from GPS derived site position time series[J]. J Geophys Res Atmos 107(B4):ETG9-1–ETG9-16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fu Y, Freymueller JT (2012) Seasonal and long-term vertical deformation in the Nepal Himalaya constrained by GPS and GRACE measurements[J]. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 117(B3):1–14Google Scholar
  17. Gu Y, Yuan L, Fan D, You W, Su Y (2017) Seasonal crustal vertical deformation induced by environmental mass loading in mainland China derived from GPS, GRACE and surface loading models[J]. Adv Space Res 59(1):88–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hammond WC, Blewitt G, Kreemer C (2016) GPS imaging of vertical land motion in California and Nevada: implications for Sierra Nevada uplift[J]. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 121(10):7681–7703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Han SC (2016) Seasonal clockwise gyration and tilt of the Australian continent chasing the center of mass of the Earth's system from GPS and GRACE[J]. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 121(10):7666–7680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. He M, Shen W, Pan Y et al (2018) Temporal-spatial surface seasonal mass changes and vertical crustal deformation in South China block from GPS and GRACE measurements[J]. Sensors 18(1):99Google Scholar
  21. Herring TA, King RW, McClusky SC (2015) Introduction to GAMIT/GLOBK,Release10.6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  22. Jiang W, Deng L, Li Z et al (2014) Effects on noise properties of GPS time series caused by higher-order ionospheric corrections. Adv Space Res 53(7):1035–1046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kaminski P, Figurski M, Kroszczynski K . Frequency and phase analysis of daily reprocessed solutions from selected EPN stations[C]// Egu General Assembly Conference. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, 2010Google Scholar
  24. Langbein J (2008) Noise in GPS displacement measurements from Southern California and southern Nevada[J]. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 113(B5):1–12Google Scholar
  25. Mao A, Harrison CGA, Dixon TH (1999) Noise in GPS coordinate time series [J]. J Geophys Res 104(B2):2797–2816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Moore M, Watson C, King M, McClusky S, Tregoning P (2014) Empirical modelling of site-specific errors in continuous GPS data. J Geod 88(9):887–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nikolaidis, R. Observation of geodetic and seismic deformation with the global positioning system, Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, San Diego, 2002Google Scholar
  28. Petit G, Luzum B (2010) IERS Conventions 2010. Technical report. Verlag des Bundesamts fur Kartographie und Geodasie(France), Frankfurt am MainGoogle Scholar
  29. Petrie EJ, King MA, Moore P, Lavallée DA (2010) Higher-order ionospheric effects on the GPS reference frame and velocities. J Geophys Res 115:B03417. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Petrov, L., 2015. The international mass loading service. arXiv preprint 1503.00191Google Scholar
  31. Ray J, Altamimi Z, Collilieux X, van Dam T (2008) Anomalous harmonics in the spectra of GPS position estimates[J]. GPS Solutions 12(1):55–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Renli L, Rong Z, Jiancheng L et al (2018) Vertical displacements driven by groundwater storage changes in the North China plain detected by GPS observations[J]. Remote Sens 10(2):259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rienecker MM, Suarez MJ, Gelaro R, Todling R, Bacmeister J, Liu E, Bosilovich MG, Schubert SD, Takacs L, Kim GK, Bloom S, Chen J, Collins D, Conaty A, da Silva A, Gu W, Joiner J, Koster RD, Lucchesi R, Molod A, Owens T, Pawson S, Pegion P, Redder CR, Reichle R, Robertson FR, Ruddick AG, Sienkiewicz M, Woollen J (2011) MERRA: NASA’s modern-era retrospective analysis for research and applications(J). J Clim 24(14):3624–3648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rietbroek R, Fritsche M, Dahle C et al (2013) Can GPS-derived surface loading bridge a GRACE Mission gap?[J]. Surv Geophys 35(6):1267–1283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schmid R, Steigenberger P, Gendt G, Ge M, Rothacher M (2007) Generation of a consistent absolute phase-center correction model for GPS receiver and satellite antennas[J]. J Geod 81(12):781–798CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tesmer V, Steigenberger P, van Dam T, Mayer-Gürr T (2011) Vertical deformations from homogeneously processed GRACE and global GPS long-term series. J Geod 85(5):291–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Thomas, M. Ocean induced Variations of Earths Rotation— Results from a Simultaneous Model of Global Circulation and Tides (Ph.D. Thesis, Ph.D. Diss.). Univ. of Hamburg, Germany, 2002, 129 pp.Google Scholar
  38. Tregoning P, Herring TA (2006) Impact of a priori zenith hydrostatic delay errors on GPS estimates of station heights and zenith total delays[J]. Geophys Res Lett 33(23):L23303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang L, Chen C, Du J et al (2017) Detecting seasonal and long-term vertical displacement in the North China plain using GRACE and GPS[J]. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 21(6):1–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wei X (2018) Research on surface deformation monitoring of Hefei area based on SBAS[J]. Science of Surveying and Mapping 43(7):67–71Google Scholar
  41. Williams SDP (2003) The effect of coloured noise on the uncertainties of rates estimated from geodetic time series [J]. J Geod 76:483–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Williams SDP (2008) CATS: GPS coordinate time series analysis software [J]. GPS Solution 12:147–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wu X, Ray J, Dam TV (2012) Geocenter motion and its geodetic and geophysical implications[J]. J Geodyn 58(3):44–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wu Y, Zhao Q, Zhang B, Wu W (2017) Characterizing the seasonal crustal motion in Tianshan area using GPS, GRACE and Surface loading models[J]. Remote Sens 9(12):1303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yan H, Chen W, Zhu Y, Zhang W, Zhong M (2009) Contributions of thermal expansion of monuments and nearby bedrock to observed GPS height changes. Geophys Res Lett 36(13):L13301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhang J, Bock Y, Johnson H, Fang P, Williams S, Genrich J, Wdowinski S, Behr J (1997) Southern California permanent GPS geodetic Array: error analysis of daily position estimates and site velocities[J]. J Geophys Res 102(B8):18035–18055CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zhao Q, Wu W, Wu Y (2016) Using combined GRACE and GPS data to investigate the vertical crustal deformation at the northeastern margin of the Tibetan plateau[J]. J Asian Earth Sci 134:122–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhong Y, Ma A, Ong YS, Zhu Z, Zhang L (2018) Computational intelligence in optical remote sensing image processing[J]. Appl Soft Comput 64:75–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhu Z, Zhou X, Deng L, Wang K, Zhou B (2017) Quantitative analysis of geophysical sources of common mode component in CMONOC GPS coordinate time series[J]. Adv Space Res 60:2896–2909CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zou R, Freymueller JT, Ding K et al (2014) Evaluating seasonal loading models and their impact on global and regional reference frame alignment. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 119(2):1337–1358CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liansheng Deng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hua Chen
    • 2
  • Jiafeng Ren
    • 3
  • Yong Liao
    • 4
  1. 1.Optics Valley BeiDou International SchoolHubei Polytechnic UniversityHuangshiChina
  2. 2.School of Geodesy and GeomaticsWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Provincial Fundamental Geomatics Center of AnhuiHefeiChina
  4. 4.Huangshi Centre for Disease Control and PreventionHuangshiChina

Personalised recommendations