The study of climate change is an important field of research. Monitoring of atmospheric variability especially the tropospheric precipitable water vapor (PWV) is a powerful way to investigate climate change. Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) provide a good tool for studying atmospheric parameters as GNSS signals along its path from the satellites to the ground based receivers suffer a significant delay due to the refractivity of earth’s atmosphere. GNSS signals are not only delayed but also refracted in the neutral atmosphere. The zenith wet delays (ZWD) caused by the troposphere can be estimated during the geodetic processing of GNSS signals. Since the ZWD is tightly correlated to the PWV, GNSS observations can be used to study the changes of PWV. In this study GNSS data from the Egyptian permanent GNSS network (EPGN), International GNSS Service (IGS), EUREF Permanent Network (EPN) and Scripps Orbit and Permanent Array Center (SOPAC), for the years 2013 and 2014, were used. These GNSS stations provided a good geometrical coverage over the respective region. All GNSS data were processed using Bernese V 5.2 software. The needed product from GNSS data processing is the tropospheric zenith total delay (ZTD) over each GNSS site. The ZTD is divided based on physical parameters into zenith hydrostatic delay (ZHD) and zenith wet delay (ZWD). The ZWD is the basic observable used to calculate PWV. The values of the PWV were calculated and its variation over the study area was investigated. The quality of calculated PWV values from GNSS data evaluated against traditional Radiosonde (RS) measurements. The results of GNSS PWV showed good agreement with RS PWV when the PWV values were low, but this agreement became worse at high PWV values as the differences between the two techniques increased. The correlation coefficient between RS PWV and GNSS PWV varied from 0.31 to 0.84. Standard deviation of the differences between RS PWV and GNSS PWV ranged from 2.369 to 5.973 mm. The PWV estimated from GNSS observations had annual cycle, and its cycle in 2013 was different from that in 2014. The PWV differences between the 2 years clarified that the water vapor content over the east Mediterranean in most of 2014 days was higher than that in 2013. Furthermore, PWV variations were noted on both temporal and spatial scales. The highest temporal variation value was 25.41 mm whereas the maximum value of the spatial variation was 19.67 mm. The present study illustrated the importance of using geodetic networks to provide atmospheric information.
"Acta Geodaetica et Geophysica" – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 7, 2020