Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 81, Issue 10, pp 679–683

Short Note: A global model of pressure and temperature for geodetic applications

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00190-007-0135-3

Cite this article as:
Boehm, J., Heinkelmann, R. & Schuh, H. J Geod (2007) 81: 679. doi:10.1007/s00190-007-0135-3


The empirical model GPT (Global Pressure and Temperature), which is based on spherical harmonics up to degree and order nine, provides pressure and temperature at any site in the vicinity of the Earth’s surface. It can be used for geodetic applications such as the determination of a priori hydrostatic zenith delays, reference pressure values for atmospheric loading, or thermal deformation of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) radio telescopes. Input parameters of GPT are the station coordinates and the day of the year, thus also allowing one to model the annual variations of the parameters. As an improvement compared with previous models, it reproduces the large pressure anomaly over Antarctica, which can cause station height errors in the analysis of space-geodetic data of up to 1 cm if not considered properly in troposphere modelling. First tests at selected geodetic observing stations show that the pressure biases considerably decrease when using GPT instead of the very simple approaches applied to various Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) software packages so far. GPT also provides an appropriate model for the annual variability of global temperature.


GNSSVLBINeutral atmosphere delays

Supplementary material

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geodesy and GeophysicsVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria