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Ten years of Lake Taupō surface height estimates using the GNSS interferometric reflectometry

Abstract

A continuously operating GNSS station within a lake interior is uncommon, but advantageous for testing the GNSS Interferometric Reflectometry (GNSS-IR) technique. In this research, GNSS-IR is used to estimate ten years of lake surface heights for Lake Taupō in New Zealand. This is achieved using data collected from station TGHO, approximately 4 km from the lake’s shoreline. Its reliability is assessed by comparisons with shoreline gauges and satellite radar altimetry lake surface heights. Relative RMS differences between the daily averaged lake gauge and GNSS-IR lake surface heights range from ± 0.027 to ± 0.028 m. Relative RMS differences between the satellite radar altimetry lake surface heights and the GNSS-IR lake surface heights are ± 0.069 m and ± 0.124 m. The results show that the GNSS-IR technique at Lake Taupō can provide reliable lake surface height estimates in a terrestrial reference frame. A new ground-based absolute satellite radar altimetry calibration/validation approach based on GNSS-IR is proposed and discussed.

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Data availability

TGHO and CORS station GNSS RINEX data are freely available via GeoNet ftp from ftp://ftp.geonet.org.nz/gnss. G-REALM satellite altimetry product is available at https://ipad.fas.usda.gov/cropexplorer/global_reservoir/. DAHITI satellite altimetry product is available at https://dahiti.dgfi.tum.de/en/. The Lake Taupō gauge data are available upon request from the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) research (https://niwa.co.nz/). The Taupō Airport meteorological data are available upon request from the New Zealand MetService (https://www.metservice.com/).

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to NIWA and Genesis Energy for permission to access and use the Acacia Bay and Tokaanu lake gauge data; the New Zealand Meteorology Services for access and use of the meteorological data at Taupō AWS; GeoNet for access to the GNSS data for TGHO at Lake Taupō. The authors thank the Associate editor, Nico Fournier and two anonymous reviewers for their comments which significantly improved this manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

LDH conceived the application of the GNSS-IR technique to Lake Taupō and performed the data analysis. LDH and KML wrote and discussed the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lucas D. Holden.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Holden, L.D., Larson, K.M. Ten years of Lake Taupō surface height estimates using the GNSS interferometric reflectometry. J Geod 95, 74 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00190-021-01523-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00190-021-01523-7

Keywords

  • GNSS
  • Reflectometry
  • Satellite radar altimetry
  • Lake surface height