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Title: GNSS characterization of hydrological loading in South and Southeast Asia
Authors: Materna, Kathryn
Feng, Lujia
Lindsey, Eric O.
Hill, Emma M.
Ahsan, Aktarul
Khorshed Alam, A. K. M.
Kyaw, Moe Oo
Than, Oo
Aung, Thura
Ngwe Khaing, Saw
Bürgmann, Roland
Keywords: Science
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Materna, K., Feng, L., Lindsey, E. O., Hill, E. M., Ahsan, A., Khorshed Alam, A. K. M., Kyaw, M. O., Than, O., Aung, T., Ngwe Khaing, S. & Bürgmann, R. (2020). GNSS characterization of hydrological loading in South and Southeast Asia. Geophysical Journal International, 224(3), 1742-1752.
Project: NRF-NRFI05-2019-0009 
Journal: Geophysical Journal International 
Abstract: The elastic response of the lithosphere to surface mass redistributions produces geodetically measurable deformation of the Earth. This deformation is especially pronounced in South and Southeast Asia, where the annual monsoon produces large-amplitude hydrological loads. The Myanmar–India–Bangladesh–Bhutan (MIBB) network of about 20 continuously operating Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) stations, established in 2011, provides an opportunity to study the Earth's response to these loads. In this study, we use GRACE temporal gravity products as an estimate of long-wavelength surface water distribution and use this estimate in an elastic loading calculation. We compare the predicted vertical deformation from GRACE with that observed with GNSS. We find that elastic loading inferred from the GRACE gravity model is able to explain the phase and much of the peak-to-peak amplitude (typically 2–3 cm) of the vertical GNSS oscillations, especially in northeast India and central Myanmar. GRACE-based corrections reduce the RMS scatter of the GNSS data by 30–45% in these regions. However, this approach does not capture all of the seasonal deformation in central Bangladesh and southern Myanmar. We show by a synthetic test that local hydrological effects may explain discrepancies between the GNSS and GRACE signals in these places. Two independent hydrological loading models of water stored in soil, vegetation, snow, lakes and streams display phase lags compared to the GRACE and GNSS observations, perhaps indicating that groundwater contributes to the observed loading in addition to near-surface hydrology. The results of our calculations have implications for survey-mode GNSS measurements, which make up the majority of geodetic measurements in this region. By using the GNSS data together with estimates of hydrological loading from independent observations and models, we may be able to more accurately determine crustal motions caused by tectonic processes in South and Southeast Asia, while also improving our ability to monitor the annual monsoon and resulting water storage changes in the region.
ISSN: 1365-246X
DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggaa500
Rights: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Geophysical Journal International following peer review. The version of record <<Kathryn Materna, Lujia Feng, Eric O Lindsey, Emma M Hill, Aktarul Ahsan, A K M Khorshed Alam, Kyaw Moe Oo, Oo Than, Thura Aung, Saw Ngwe Khaing, Roland Bürgmann, GNSS characterization of hydrological loading in South and Southeast Asia, Geophysical Journal International, Volume 224, Issue 3, March 2021, Pages 1742–1752>> is available online at:
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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