Atmospheric anomalies over Mt.Etna using GPS signal delays and tomography of radio wave velocities

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V. Bruno
M. Aloisi
A. Bonforte
G. Immè
G. Puglisi


Due to the prominent topography of Mt. Etna, the use of satellite geodetic techniques may significantly suffer from atmospheric heterogeneities. This problem mainly affects the DInSAR technique. To overcome these drawbacks the present study attempts to make headway in measuring and interpreting atmospheric anomalies. We used the GAMIT software to obtain the ZTD (Zenith Total Delay) values for the GPS sessions performed on 1996-97, during ERS-2 passes at Mt. Etna. GAMIT software also allows to characterize the statistical behaviour of the tropospheric effects, by using residuals for each station-satellite pair, and to locate the atmospheric anomalies, present mostly at low altitudes. The attempt at using these results to produce a tomography of radio waves velocity of the troposphere suggests that the number of GPS stations used to investigate atmosphere is a critical point in such a study. The three stations are too few to invert anomalies eventually existing in the lower atmosphere. This result is a good starting point for better direct future study to verify the applicability of this tomographic technique to a geodetic network with a higher number of stations, with the aim of characterizing the lower atmosphere of Mt. Etna for a more accurate monitoring of ground deformations.

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Bruno, V., Aloisi, M., Bonforte, A., Immè, G. and Puglisi, G. (2007) “Atmospheric anomalies over Mt.Etna using GPS signal delays and tomography of radio wave velocities”, Annals of Geophysics, 50(2), pp. 267–282. doi: 10.4401/ag-4417.

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