Estimating network effect in geocenter motion: Applications

Umma Jamila Zannat*, Paul Tregoning

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The network effect is the error associated with the subsampling of the Earth surface by space geodetic networks. It is an obstacle toward the precise measurement of geocenter motion, that is, the relative motion between the center of mass of the Earth system and the center of figure of the Earth surface. In a complementary paper, we proposed a theoretical approach to estimate the magnitude of this effect from the displacement fields predicted by geophysical models. Here we evaluate the effectiveness of our estimate for two illustrative physical processes: coseismic displacements inducing instantaneous changes in the Helmert parameters and elastic deformation due to surface water movements causing secular drifts in those parameters. For the first, we consider simplified models of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman and the 2011 Tōhoku-Oki earthquakes, and for the second, we use the observations of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, complemented by an ocean model. In both case studies, it is found that the magnitude of the network effect, even for a large global network, is often as large as the magnitude of the changes in the Helmert parameters themselves. However, we also show that our proposed modification to the definition of the center of network frame to include weights proportional to the area of the Earth surface that the stations represent can significantly reduce the network effect in most cases.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8347-8359
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


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