Seasonal Mass Changes in the Red Sea Observed By GPS and Grace

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Abdulaziz Othman Alothman1, Wei Fing2, Rui Manuel Silva Fernandes3, Machiel S Bos3 and Basem Elsaka1, (1)King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, (2)State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth’s Dynamics, Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China, (3)University of Beira Interior, Covilha, Portugal
The Red Sea is a semi-enclosed basin and exchanges water with the Gulf of Aden through the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb at the southern part of the sea. Its circulation is affected by the Indian Monsoon through its connection via the Gulf of Aden. Two distinctive (in summer and in winter) seasonal signals represent the water exchange. To understand the seasonal mass changes in the Red Sea, estimates of the mass changes based on two geodetic techniques are presented: from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The GRACE solutions were truncated up to spherical harmonic degree and order degree 60 to estimate the average monthly mass change in the atmosphere and ocean from models (several hours). GNSS solution is based on observations from four stations along the Red Sea that have been acquired in continuous mode starting in 2007 (having at least 5 years’ data-span). The time series analysis of the observed GNSS vertical deformation of these sites has been analyzed. The results revealed that the GNSS observed vertical loading agrees with the atmospheric loading (ATML) assuming that the hydrological signal along the costs of the Red sea is negligible. Computed values of daily vertical atmospheric loading using the NCEP surface pressure data (Inverted Barometer IB) for the 4 stations for 2003 until 2013 are provided. Comparison of the GRACE and GNSS solutions has shown significant annual mass variations in the Red Sea (about 15 cm annual amplitude). After removing the atmospheric effect (ATML), the ocean loading can be observed by GNSS and GRACE estimates in the Red Sea.