Global Positioning System Measurements for Crustal Deformation: Precision and Accuracy

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Science  16 Jun 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4910, pp. 1337-1340
DOI: 10.1126/science.244.4910.1337


Analysis of 27 repeated observations of Global Positioning System (GPS) position-difference vectors, up to 11 kilometers in length, indicates that the standard deviation of the measurements is 4 millimeters for the north component, 6 millimeters for the east component, and 10 to 20 millimeters for the vertical component. The uncertainty grows slowly with increasing vector length. At 225 kilometers, the standard deviation of the measurement is 6, 11, and 40 millimeters for the north, east, and up components, respectively. Measurements with GPS and Geodolite, an electromagnetic distance-measuring system, over distances of 10 to 40 kilometers agree within 0.2 part per million. Measurements with GPS and very long baseline interferometry of the 225-kilometer vector agree within 0.05 part per million.