Determining precipitable water in the atmosphere of Iran based on GPS zenith tropospheric delays

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Elaheh Sadeghi
Masoud Mashhadi-Hossainali
Hossein Etemadfard


Precipitable water (PW) is considered as one of the most important weather parameters in meteorology. Moreover, moisture affects the propagation of the Global Positioning System’s (GPS) signals. Using four different models, the current paper tries to identify the best relationship between the atmospheric error known as zenith wet delay (ZWD) and PW. For that matter, based on 54,330 radiosonde profiles from 11 stations, two different models i.e. linear and quadratic have been derived for Iran. For analyzing the accuracy of these models, ZWDs of three permanent GPS stations located in the cities of Tehran, Ahvaz and Tabriz have been used. Applying the aforementioned models as well as those already developed for Europe and the U.S., PWs are derived at the position of these stations in Iran. Further, in this research, root mean square error (RMSE) and bias are the measures for selecting the optimal model. Here, the bias and the RMSE (between GPS and radiosonde derived PWs) for the proposed linear model for Iran is 1.44 mm and 4.42 mm, and for quadratic model 2.18 mm and 4.74 mm respectively while, the bias and the RMSE for Bevis’ linear model is 2.63 mm and 4.98 mm and for Emardson and Derk’s quadratic models are 2.80 mm and 5.08 mm respectively. As such, it is observed that the bias of the proposed linear model for Iran is 1.19 mm and 1.36 mm less than the Bevis’ and Emardson and Derk’s models. In addition, the RMSE of the proposed linear model is 0.56 and 0.66 mm less than the RMSE of the later ones. This emphasizes that the estimation of the model coefficients must be based on regional meteorological measurements.

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How to Cite
Sadeghi, E., Mashhadi-Hossainali, M. and Etemadfard, H. (2014) “Determining precipitable water in the atmosphere of Iran based on GPS zenith tropospheric delays”, Annals of Geophysics, 57(4), p. A0430. doi: 10.4401/ag-6407.
Physics of the Atmosphere