History of on-board equipment improvement for GNSS-A observation with focus on observation frequency

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2020.00150. This is version 2 of this Preprint.


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Tadashi Ishikawa, Yusuke Yokota, Shun-ichi Watanabe, Yuto Nakamura


The Global Navigation Satellite System-Acoustic ranging combination technique (GNSS-A) is a seafloor geodetic technique that enables precise global seafloor positioning to detect subseafloor geophysical phenomena. The technique requires a sea surface observation platform that combines GNSS positioning and acoustic ranging. Currently, a survey vessel is used as the platform, which entails substantial financial and human resources costs, which makes increasing observation frequency difficult. It is possible to detect long-term average seafloor movement at the centimeter level, but it is difficult to detect short-term variation due to the insufficiency of observation frequency. The terrestrial GNSS observation network has detected temporal changes in crustal deformation fields. These precise observations provide useful information on the megathrust seismogenic zone. To detect such phenomena on the seafloor, the temporal resolution of the GNSS-A observation needs to be improved. Advances in vessel equipment technology are crucial for increasing observation frequency. In this paper, we review the historical development of the Japan Coast Guard’s GNSS-A observation system, focusing on technological developments of on-board equipment installed on a sea surface platform, and explain how such improvements have increased observation frequency over time. In the present, ranging frequency has improved from 40-60 s to 15-20 s by the introduction of the multiple ranging system, resulting in more frequent observations up to 5 times per year for an individual site.




Earth Sciences, Geophysics and Seismology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


GNSS-A, seafloor geodesy, Subduction zone, megathrust earthquake, underwater acoustics


Published: 2020-02-12 10:14

Last Updated: 2020-05-11 03:26

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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