N. Bergeot

Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence, Bruxelles, Brussels Capital Region, Belgium

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Publications (24)13.62 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Higher order ionospheric effects (I2+) are one of the main limiting factors in very precise GNSS processing, for applications where millimeter accuracy is demanded. This paper summarizes a comprehensive study of the I2+ effects in range and in GNSS precise products such as receiver position and clock, tropospheric delay, geocenter offset, GNSS satellite position and clocks. All the relevant higher order contributions are considered: second and third order, geometric bending and dSTEC bending (i.e. the difference between the STEC for straight and bent paths). Using a realistic simulation with representative Solar Maximum conditions on GPS signals, both the effects and mitigation errors are analyzed. The usage of the combination of multifrequency L-band observations to cancel out the main effect, i.e. the second order ionospheric term, has to be rejected due to its increased noise level, seen in both analysis of actual data and theoretical considerations. The results of the study show that the main two effects in range come from the second order ionospheric term and the dSTEC bending: daily average values of 5 mm are obtained for second order term and up to 2 mm error for dSTEC bending (with peak values up to +20 mm and up to +14 mm respectively at south azimuth and 10 deg. of elevation). Their combined impact on the precise GNSS satellite products affects the satellite Z-coordinates (up to +1 cm) and satellite clocks (more than +/- 20 ps). Other precise products areaffected at the millimeter level (+/- 2 mm in the case of the receiver position, up to about +/- 15 ps in the receiver clock and up to more than 1 mm in the non-hydrostatic tropospheric vertical delay). After correction, with approximate affordable models, the impact on all the precise GNSS products is reduced below 5 mm. We finally quantify the corresponding impact on a Precise Point Positioning (PPP) processing, after applying consistently the precise products (satellite orbits and clocks) obtained under correction of higher order ionospheric effects: the remaining effect is shown to be lower than the current uncertainties of the PPP solutions.
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 03/2014; · 3.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the future challenges of the Space Weather community is to predict the Earth's ionospheric state in response to variations of the Solar activity, especially during stormy events. The beginning of the 23rd Solar cycle coincided with the start of the catalogue of global ionospheric Total Electron Content (TEC) maps based on GNSS data. Consequently, the 23rd Solar cycle (1996-2008) is the first full Solar cycle ever having both GNSS-based TEC measurements as well as observed Solar parameters. This study takes advantage of this new double dataset (1) to develop an empirical ionospheric climatological model to predict the Mean Daily Ionospheric Total Electron Content (MDITEC, i.e. the mean value of the TEC over a day at a given latitude) taking Solar parameters as input and (2) to analyze the variation of the MDITEC during identified ionospheric storm events. In this paper, several Solar parameters (e.g. daily Sunspot Number, F10.7 flux and derived F10.7P) are tested as input and different parameterizations are considered to estimate, i.e. to model, the MDITEC for a given day and at a given latitude. The residuals between the models and the observed MDITEC are minimized by a least-squares adjustment. The best model is obtained using (1) a combination of linear, annual and semi-annual terms between the MDITEC and F10.7P; (2) a discretization w.r.t. the phases of the Solar cycle. Our preferred ionospheric climatological model is tested in terms of yearly median absolute error (1.4±0.9 TECu) and median relative error (11.5±2.9 %). The relative error remains constant during the entire 23rd Solar cycle which comforts us in the robustness of our climatological model with no degradation during the different phases of the Solar activity. Finally, differences greater than 15 TECu between the observed and modeled MDITEC are concordant with 70 intense ionospheric storm events occurred during the period 1998-2005. The onset of these events was identified from the analysis of interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) observations provided by NASA ACE spacecraft from the vantage L1 point. The storms affect significantly the MDITEC mainly in polar regions, with a loss of ionization with respect to our climatological model and a peak one day after the onset. The mean difference between the observed and modeled MDITEC (absolute error) is -3.2±1.5 TECu one day after the onset and becomes negligible again 2-3 days after the onset. Concerning the relative errors, they are of the order of -19.6±15.0% one day after the onset and normal values can be seen again 3-4 days after the onset. These results show a global picture of the effect of extreme Space Weather events on the Earth's upper atmosphere.
    Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate. 04/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: With the beginning of the 24th Solar cycle, the increased Solar activity requires having a close eye on the ionosphere for better understanding Space Weather physics and its effects on radio communications. In that frame, near-real time ionospheric models over Europe are now routinely generated at the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB). These models are made available to the public through new interactive web pages at the web site of the GNSS team (www.gnss.be) and the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (www.sidc.be) of ROB. The models are ionospheric Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC) maps estimated every 15 minutes on a 0.5°x0.5° grid. They use the high-rate GPS observations of the real-time stations in the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN) provided by the ROB NTRIP broadcaster. The maps are published on the ROB web site with a latency of 7-15 minutes with respect to the last GPS measurement included in the 15-minute observation files. In a first step, this paper presents the processing strategy used to generate the VTEC maps: input data, parameter estimation, data cleaning and interpolation method. In addition, the tools developed to further exploit the product are introduced, e.g. on-demand animated VTEC maps. In a second step, the VTEC maps are compared with external ionospheric products and models such as Global Ionospheric Maps and IRI 2011. These new near-real time VTEC maps will allow any user within the geographical scope of the maps to estimate in near-real time the ionospheric delay induced along the signal of any observed satellite. In the future, the web site will continuously be updated in response to evolving user needs. This paper opens doors to discussions with the user community to target their needs.
    04/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Since April 2011, the igs08.atx antenna calibration model is used in the routine IGS (International GNSS Service) data analysis. The model includes mean robot calibrations to correct for the offset and phase center variations of the GNSS receiver antennas. These so-called "type" calibrations are means of the individual calibrations available for a specific antenna/radome combination. The GNSS data analysis performed within the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN) aims at being as consistent as possible with the IGS analysis. This also applies to the receiver antenna calibrations. However, when available, individual antenna calibrations are used within the EPN analysis instead of the "type" calibration. When these individual calibrations are unavailable, then the EPN analysis falls back to (type) calibrations identical as the ones used within the IGS (igs08.atx). The aim of this study is to evaluate the significance of the offset caused by using different receiver antenna calibration models on the station position. Using the PPP (Precise Point Positioning) technique, we first investigate the differences in positioning obtained when switching between individual antenna calibrations and type calibrations. We analyze the observations of the 43 EPN stations equipped with receiver antenna individually calibrated over the period covering from 2003 to 2010 and we show that these differences can reach up to 4 mm in horizontal and 10 mm in vertical. Secondly, we study the accuracy of the individual calibrations models and we evaluate the effect of different sets of individual calibrations on the positioning. For that purpose, we use the data from 6 GNSS stations equipped with an antenna which has been individually calibrated at two calibration facilities recognized by the IGS: GEO++ and Bonn institute.
    04/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Using dual-frequency data from 36 GPS stations from the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN), the influence of the October 30, 2003 Halloween geomagnetic storm on kinematic GPS positioning is investigated. The Halloween storm induced ionospheric disturbances above the northern part of Europe and Scandinavia. It is shown that kinematic position repeatabilities for this period are mainly affected for stations in northern Europe with outliers reaching 12cm in the horizontal, and 26cm in the vertical. These magnitudes are shown to be possibly due to the second-order ionospheric delays on GPS signals, not accounted for in the kinematic GPS positioning analysis performed. In parallel, we generate hourly TEC (Total Electron Content) maps on a 1°×1° grid using the dense EPN network. These TEC maps do not use any interpolation but provide a high resolution in the time and space and therefore allow to better evidence small structures in the ionosphere than the classical 2-hourly 2.5°×5° grid Global Ionospheric TEC Maps (GIM). Using the hourly 1°×1° TEC maps, we reconstruct and refine exactly the zones of intense ionosphere activity during the storm, and we show the correlation between the ionospheric activity and assess the quality of GPS-based kinematic positioning performed in the European region. KeywordsTEC maps–GPS kinematic positioning–Geomagnetic storm
    GPS Solutions 01/2011; 15(2):171-180. · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The beginning of the 23rd solar cycle (May 1996 to December 2008) coincided with the start of the catalogue of global ionospheric modeling using GPS data. Comparison between solar activity parameters and GPS-derived Total Electron Content (TEC) is now possible for the whole of solar cycle 23. In this study, we compared the daily sunspot number and F10.7 cm flux with the daily mean global TEC values during the entire last solar cycle. In order to better understand the ionization response, we show correlations between the daily F10.7cm delivered by NGDC-NOAA (National Geophysical Data Center - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the daily sunspot number from SIDC (Solar Influences Data Analysis Center) with the daily mean latitudinal TEC values extracted from CODE (Center for Orbit Determination in Europe) GPS-based global ionospheric maps for the period 1995-2009. The correlations were investigated for different daily mean latitudinal ionospheric TEC: (1) expressed in geographic and geomagnetic coordinates; (2) with respect to the seasons and; (3) with respect to the different phases of the solar cycle. In general, results show in the north and south hemispheres a different ionospheric response (TEC) to solar activity (F10.7cm). Moreover, the switch from geographic to geomagnetic coordinates does not change the observed correlation between TEC and solar parameters. Finally, a larger correlation is observed at N20°-30° during the transition phase in the solar cycle.
    AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. 12/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: A good knowledge in near real-time of the state of the ionosphere, in terms of spatial and temporal variation of electron content, is now necessary for many scientific applications. Indeed, most of the applications using radio waves (e.g. communications, navigations systems and radio-sciences) are biased by the ionosphere. They consequently need information on the ionospheric electron content over a specific area at a given time e.g. to derive delay corrections. In this study, we present a method developed at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in order to produce each 15 minutes GPS-based ionospheric total electron content models over Europe on a 0.5°/0.5° grid for any user located in Belgium. The foreseen product will be available in near real-time and therefore the 120 stations of the EUREF Permanent Network providing near real-time GPS data are used. In a first step, the method is described (input data, parameter estimations) and the data cleaning and the spatial interpolation approaches are presented. In a second step, the results of the selected spline interpolation method are shown and the resulting models are compared to Global Ionospheric Maps produced by the CODE (Center for Orbit Determination in Europe) IGS analysis center. The quality of the product is evaluated during different periods: (1) active ionospheric state (October Geomagnetic Storm, 2003); (2) normal ionospheric state (close to the Solar Minimum in 2008); (3) and a recent period in 2010.
    AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. 12/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: More than ten years (1996-2008) of weekly GPS solutions of 299 globally distributed stations have been used to quantify the impact of the reference frame definition and especially the size of the network on the estimated station positions, velocities, and residual position time series. For that purpose, weekly regional solutions (covering the European region) and global solutions have been respectively stacked to obtain regional and global station positions, velocities, and residual position time series. In both cases, the estimated long-term solutions have been tied to the ITRF2005 under minimal constraints using a selected set of reference stations. This study shows that: (1) regional position and velocity solutions can present biases with respect to each other and to global solutions, while in comparison, global solutions are much more stable; (2) the obtained residual position time series are affected by the size of the network with significantly reduced periodic signals in the regional networks, e.g. a 27% reduction of the annual signals in the height component. In summary, we will evidence the limitation of regional networks to produce reliable station positions, velocities and especially residual position time series.
    05/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: The growing number of GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo) satellites and ground receivers will in the next several years significantly increase the number of radio navigation signals probing the Earth's atmosphere. In this study, the added-value of using dense national GNSS networks, in addition to the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN), is investigated for performing ionospheric as well as tropospheric tomography over Europe. For this purpose, the focus will be on the geometry of the satellite-receiver ray distribution traversing the atmosphere. This investigation shows that dense national networks mostly provide an added-value for tropospheric tomography reducing significantly the empty zones, while their interest for ionospheric tomography is less evident. Additionally, 52% of the EPN stations are presently capable of tracking GLONASS and 90% of new antennas installed in the EPN are able to observe the three GNSS. The results show how GLONASS and/or Galileo observations, in addition to GPS, not only increase the number of rays, but also extend the observation zone, possibly contributing to a better sounding of the atmosphere.
    04/2010; 12:10538.
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    ABSTRACT: Ten years (1997–2006) of weekly GNSS solutions of 205 globally distributed stations have been used to investigate the impact of the reference frame definition on the estimated station velocities. For that purpose, weekly regional solutions (covering the European region) and global solutions have been, respectively, stacked to obtain regional and global velocity fields. In both cases, the estimated long-term solutions (station positions and velocities) were tied to the ITRF2005 under minimal constraints using a selected set of reference stations. Several sets of global and regional reference stations were tested to evaluate first the impact of the reference frame definition on the global and regional velocity fields and later the impact on the derived geodynamic interpretations.Results confirm that the regional velocity fields show systematic effects with respect to the global velocity field with differences reaching up to 1.3mm/year in the horizontal and 2.9mm/year in the vertical depending on the geographical extent of the network and the chosen set of regional reference stations.In addition, the estimations of the Euler pole for Western Europe differ significantly when considering a global or a regional strategy. After removing the rigid block rotation, the residual velocity fields show differences which can reach up to 0.8mm/year in horizontal component.In Northern Europe, the vertical ground motion is dominated by the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA). A proper modeling of this effect requires sub-mm/year precision for the vertical velocities for latitudes below 56°. We demonstrate that a profile of vertical velocities shows significant discrepancies according to the reference frame definition strategy. In the case of regional solutions, the vertical modeling does not predict any subsidence around 52° as predicted by the global solution and previous studies.In summary, we evidence the limitation of regional networks to reconstruct absolute velocity fields and conclude that when geodynamics require the highest precisions for the GNSS-based velocities, a global reference frame definition is more reliable.
    Journal of Geodynamics 01/2010; 49(3):116-122. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: On February 15th 2009, Belgium together with the International Polar Foundation inaugurated a new Antarctic base named Princess Elisabeth in honour of the granddaughter of King Albert II of Belgium. The base, located in the Queen Maud Land, East Antarctica (lat = 71°57'S, long = 23°20'E) was built to fully operate with renewable energies, conditions motivated by present climatic issues. Among the wide range of ambitious scientific projects already initiated, a solid earth GIANT-LISSA project will be conducted by the Royal Observatory of Belgium to better understand the ongoing geodynamics affecting East Antarctica such as ice mass change and to shed light onto the past and present tectonics by investigating lithospheric structure and local and regional intra-plate seismicity. Here we present these scientific goals focussing particularly on the seismology experiment. We describe the technical aspects of the instrumentation to be shipped and installed during the coming BELARE 2009-2010 expedition: one surface and one borehole broadband seismometers in addition to two GPS stations. Absolute and relative gravity measurements will be undertaken the following year in collaboration with Luxembourg University. In regard of the excellent site conditions provided by the elongated nunatak outcrop hosting the Princess Elisabeth base, the scientific expectations are high allowing to envision further initiatives and collaborations.
    AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. 12/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Subduction zone deformation is difficult to fully constrain, as the plate boundary generally lies in deep waters, preventing the use of common GNSS based methods. While the subduction zone plate boundary in Central Vanuatu is indeed submerged, two shallow seamounts located on either side of the plate limit allow us measure vertical motions on both sides, using diver-installed seafloor pressure gauges. In 1999, we installed one gauge on the subducting plate, at Sabine Bank, and the other one on the overriding plate, at Wusi Bank. The two gauges have been recording nearly continuously since 1999. The signal we are looking for is small and on the same order of magnitude than sea level changes; thus we use satellite altimetry as an external reference to monitor sea surface changes. The Sabine Bank site is close to an ERS/Envisat crossing point, while the Wusi Bank site is close to a crossover point for Topex-Poseidon, Jason and Jason2. Seafloor pressure, converted to depth, and satellite altimetric measurements of the sea surface are combined to derive the height above ellipsoid of both seafloor points. In addition, kinematic GPS data on a floating platform above the pressure gauges, contribute to the calibration of the measurement system. We show the vertical deformation and uncertainties obtained at both underwater points and use these results to complement the deformation profile perpendicular to the plate boundary, obtained with on-land GPS measurements. The whole profile, comprising at sea and on land measurements is then modeled in 3D to investigate the role played by topographic features lying on the subducting plate on the locking of the subduction and on the vertical uplift of the overriding plate, which is responsible for the existence of both Santo and Malekula, the two largest islands of the Vanuatu archipelago.
    AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. 12/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: The stability of GPS time and frequency transfer is limited by the fact that GPS signals travel through the ionosphere. In high precision geodetic time transfer (i.e. based on precise modeling of code and carrier phase GPS data), the so-called ionosphere-free combination of the code and carrier phase measurements made on the two frequencies is used to remove the first-order ionospheric effect. In this paper, we investigate the impact of residual second- and third-order ionospheric effects on geodetic time transfer solutions i.e. remote atomic clock comparisons based on GPS measurements, using the ATOMIUM software developed at the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB). The impact of third-order ionospheric effects was shown to be negligible, while for second-order effects, the tests performed on different time links and at different epochs show a small impact of the order of some picoseconds, on a quiet day, and up to more than 10 picoseconds in case of high ionospheric activity. The geomagnetic storm of the 30th October 2003 is used to illustrate how space weather products are relevant to understand perturbations in geodetic time and frequency transfer. Comment: 25 pages, 10 eps figures, 1 table, accepted in Journal of Advances in Space Research, Special Issue "Recent advances in space weather monitoring, modelling and forecasting"
    Advances in Space Research 08/2009; · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In high precision geodetic time transfer (i.e. based on precise modeling of code and carrier phase GPS data), the so-called ionosphere-free combination of the code (P<sub>3</sub>) and carrier phase (L<sub>3</sub>) measurements, made on the two GPS frequencies, is used to remove the first-order ionosphere effect. In this paper, we quantify the impact of residual second- and third-order ionosphere perturbations on geodetic time and frequency transfer solutions, for both continental baselines and intercontinental baselines. All time transfer computations have been done using the ATOMIUM software, developed at the Royal Observatory of Belgium. In order to avoid contamination by some imperfect modeling of the second- and third-order ionosphere effects in the satellite clock products, only single-difference (Common-View) processing is used, based on both code and carrier phase measurements. The results are shown for weak and for strong solar activity, as well as for particular epochs of ionosphere storms.
    Frequency Control Symposium, 2009 Joint with the 22nd European Frequency and Time forum. IEEE International; 05/2009
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    ABSTRACT: The study of the ionosphere over Europe is essential for applications in the field of geophysics and space weather research (e.g. seismic monitoring, study of the interaction between Sun and Atmosphere) and it can also provide valuable information in support of radio system transmissions. Moreover, GPS errors induced by the ionosphere will increase in the next years due to the growing solar activity since the beginning of the 24th sunspot cycle in March 2008. To better understand the physics of the ionosphere and its effects on GPS positioning, the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) is developing an automatic monitoring to detect rapid ionospheric changes in both time and space domains using the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN) GNSS data. In this study, we describe the method adopted by ROB to obtain 1°/1° hourly maps of the Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC) over Europe from the phase-smoothed code observations from 150 to 200 EPN stations. We focused on two characteristic ionospheric activity periods: 1) a period of rapid changes in the ionospheric state due to the Halloween geomagnetic super-storm of 29-31 October 2003; 2) a period of normal ionospheric activity in the beginning of 2008. To validate our results we compared our VTEC maps with Global Ionospheric Maps (GIM) GPS based products (e.g. from CODE, IGS). The comparisons during normal ionospheric activity show differences of 0.1±1 TECU between the ROB and GIM products. However, during rapid changes in the ionospheric state, the differences are estimated to 1±3 TECU. This is caused by the smoothing of the ionospheric signal in the GIM which are given for 2 hourly intervals on a 5°/2.5° grid. In conclusion, our TEC products are in good agreement with GIM products during normal ionospheric activity and allow to better detect rapid changes in the ionospheric state compared to global products.
    04/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Ten years (1997-2006) of weekly GPS solutions of 205 globally distributed stations have been used to investigate the impact of the reference frame definition on the estimated station positions and velocities. For that purpose, weekly regional solutions (covering the European region) and global solutions have been respectively stacked to obtain regional and global station positions and velocities. In both cases, the estimated long-term solutions are tied to the ITRF2005 under minimal constraints using a selected set of reference stations. Several sets of global and regional reference stations were tested to first evaluate the impact of the reference frame definition on the global and regional solutions, and later on the derived geodynamic interpretations. This study has shown that: - regional position solutions present biases with respect to each other or to a global solution which can reach the centimeter level. In comparison, global solutions are much more stable and agree within the 2 mm-level. - regional velocity fields show systematic effects with respect to the global velocity field with differences reaching up to 1.3 mm/yr in the horizontal and 2.9 mm/yr in the vertical depending on the geographical extend of network and the set of regional reference stations. In summary, we evidence the limitation of regional networks to produce reliable station positions and velocities and conclude that when geodynamics require the highest precisions for the GNSS-based velocities, a global reference frame definition should be applied.
    04/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Evaluating the maximum magnitude and the recurrence of large earthquakes depend on where and how the strain is released in the lithosphere. Therefore, to characterize the long term seismic activity in northwest Europe (NWE), we evaluated and compared the strain accumulated by the known seismic activity with that observed in the recent geological record and that deduced from geodetic data. The consistent re-analysis of GPS data collected by a selection of the EUREF (since 1996), and WALCORS and FLEPOS permanent networks (since 2003) does not evidence horizontal crustal movements greater than the uncertainties, and does not allow identifying regions with strain accumulation. Nevertheless, GPS-based velocities constrain the maximum value of the present horizontal strain rates to around 5 1010yr-1. The evaluation of the scalar seismic moment release during historical times suggests that in western and NW Europe, M >= 6.5 - 7.0 earthquakes should be very rare, and that the seismic strain is relaxed by numerous moderate earthquakes with magnitude between 5.5 and 6.0. However, the strongest physical constraints on these assumptions will come with the improved precision of the GPS site velocities as the observation time series become longer. The earthquake moment release in NWE during the historical period (the last 700 years) is of the order of 1016 N.m/yr, which corresponds roughly to 40% of the possible maximum geodetic strain rate for the whole intraplate Europe. An evaluation of the moment release by the active faults in the Lower Rhine Graben system for the last 10,000 years provides also a value around 1016 N.m/yr. More specific studies should be undertaken to confirm these numbers, but they already suggest that, on the long term, the Lower Rhine Graben system relaxes an important part of the strain in this part of intraplate Europe. Repeated absolute gravity measurements across the Belgian Ardenne and the Lower Rhine Graben system, and in Oostende, on the Belgian coast, suggest that the whole region is presently subsiding at a rate of 1-2 mm/yr, in agreement with the most recent published model of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). The GIA models, validated by geodetic data in the most uplifted area of Fennoscandia GIA, suggest a NNE-SSW compressive strain in northwest Europe, which is in contradiction with the strain deduced from earthquake fault-plane solutions and the geological observations in the Lower Rhine Graben system. This questions the possible relationships between earthquake activity and GIA.
    04/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: The EUREF Permanent Network (EPN) is a network of more than 210 continuously operating GPS and GPS+GLONASS reference stations maintained on a voluntary basis by the EUREF members. Depending on the station data policy, daily (mandatory), hourly RINEX, 15min high-rate RINEX and real-time data are made available. The EPN Central Bureau is responsible for the day-to-day management of the EPN and acts as liaison between station operators and analysis centres, providing the necessary station configuration metadata and ensuring the datasets meet the requirements of the analysis. Although EUREF guidelines exist for station equipment, operation and data flow, different institutes use different practices. With the increasing amount of stations, the need for shorter data latencies and the growing number of applications, the monitoring performed by the EPN Central Bureau has become a growing challenge. This poster has three main topics. First, it will present the status of the EPN, emphasizing the latest developments with respect to e.g. the real-time data streaming, the status of the reprocessing, and the used antenna calibrations. Secondly, the monitoring procedures implemented at the Central Bureau will be outlined. These monitoring procedures permanently verify the EPN tracking data: the data flow (daily, hourly and real-time), the data quality and the metadata. In addition, the submissions provided by the EPN Analysis Centers are monitored and compared to provide feedback to the participating analysis centers. Last, we will show the most important network management procedures applied within the EPN elaborating on the procedure used to include new stations in the EPN.
    04/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: We analyzed interseismic velocity fields along the Vanuatu arc subduction zone from more than 45 GPS station measurements spanning 15 years. Convergence with respect to the Australian plate (AP) is normal to the trench, with amplitudes that vary greatly from a maximum of 170 mm a-1 at Vanikoro to 27 mm a-1 facing the D'Entrecasteaux Ridge (DER). Motions expressed relative to the Pacific plate (PP) highlight arc segmentation. Both the northern and southern segments undergo back-arc spreading in a roughly NE-SW direction, rotating anticlockwise and clockwise, respectively, while the central block moves eastward at a faster rate with respect to the PP than to the AP. More convergence is therefore accommodated at the eastern bound of the arc than at the Vanuatu trench. A right lateral strike-slip movement (26 ± 1 mm a-1) along a zone normal to the trench (direction N70°) is necessary to accommodate the rate variation between the central and southern parts of the arc. Horizontal and vertical rates indicate partitioning between Malekula-southernmost Santo and central-northern Santo blocks. Simple elastic modeling of the interseismic stage deformation gives locked zone characteristics (25° dip and 50 km width) and a 54 mm a-1 long-term convergence rate between the AP and the central part of the Vanuatu arc from GPS horizontal and vertical velocities estimated south of the DER. The modeling does not fit the observed velocities facing the DER, probably because it does not account for the inelastic deformation associated with buoyant ridge subduction and back-arc thrusting.
    Journal of Geophysical Research 01/2009; 114. · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monitoring the ionospheric state is essential for many scientific applications, e.g. accurate GPS-based positioning, radio-waves transmission, space weather. Additionally, the Earth's atmosphere is one of the major error sources degrading the potential of GPS kinematic positioning. To quantify the impact of high ionospheric activity on GPS kinematic positioning, a subset of 40 stations from the European Permanent Network (EPN) was processed using the Bernese v5.0 software. During the Halloween geomagnetic (super-) storm of 29-31 October 2003, we observed a decrease by a factor ten or greater of the hourly repeatability for the horizontal and vertical components compared to positions obtained during normal ionospheric activity. We also produced Total Electron Content (TEC) maps from continuous operating GPS stations of the EPN to characterize the ionospheric activity during this period. Those maps, computed each hour with a one degree step grid, have a higher spatial and temporal resolution than the CODE or IGS TEC maps, and allow detecting rapid and isolate abnormal ionospheric activity above Europe. We investigate the potential benefit of using residuals from the geometry-free carrier phases as well as slant TEC estimate to detect small scale ionospheric disturbances.
    AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. 12/2008;