Frequent, high-precision geodetic data have temporally correlated errors. Temporal correlations directly affect both the estimate of rate and its standard error; the rate of deformation is a key product from geodetic measurements made in tectonically active areas. Various models of temporally correlated errors are developed and these provide relations between the power spectral density and the data covariance matrix. These relations are applied to two-color electronic distance meter (EDM) measurements made frequently in California over the past 15-20 years. Previous analysis indicated that these data have significant random walk error. Analysis using the noise models developed here indicates that the random walk model is valid for about 30% of the data. A second 30% of the data can be better modeled with power law noise with a spectral index between 1 and 2, while another 30% of the data can be modeled with a combination of band-pass-filtered plus random walk noise. The remaining 10% of the data can be best modeled as a combination of band-pass-filtered plus power law noise. This band-pass-filtered noise is a product of an annual cycle that leaks into adjacent frequency bands. For time spans of more than 1 year these more complex noise models indicate that the precision in rate estimates is better than that inferred by just the simpler, random walk model of noise.
Additional publication details
Noise in two-color electronic distance meter measurements revisited