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University of So Paulo

Analysis of the crust displacement in Amazon basin

G. N. Guimares (1), D. Blitzkow

Polytechnic School

A. C. O. C. Matos


F. G. V. Almeida


A.C.B. Barbosa (2)

(1) Polytechnic School of the University of So Paulo (EPUSP), So Paulo, So Paulo, Brazil (E-mail: (2) Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Science Institute of USP

The crust displacement related to the water level variation in Amazon basin, at Manaus GPS station is analysed. The data involved are in-situ water level and precipitation time series measured at ground-based hydrometric station of Agncia Nacional de guas (ANA), vertically-integrated water height deduced from GRACE geoid (height anomaly) and a continuous monitoring GPS station of Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatstica (IBGE). Two analysis are carried out: the first comprehend the vertical coordinate and in-situ daily data for a ~3-years period; the second is the 10-day interval of GRACE models and in-situ data for a ~5-years period. The GPS height presents an annual cycle of vertical displacement with peak-to-peak amplitude of 80-100 mm. A correlation about 90% between in-situ and GRACE is detected. However, they are strongly anti-correlated with the vertical coordinate. This implies that the crust responds instantaneously to the hydrological loading cycle. The use of the Continuous Wavelet Transform is applied in the time series and a time-scale anti-correlation is figured out between the vertical component with in-situ and GRACE.

IAG 2009 Buenos Aires, Argentina 31 August - 04 September 2009

The Amazon basin

The Amazon region is known worldwide due to the intense forest and the amount of water ecosystems. It has the largest river system in the world, occupying a total of 6,110,000 km (ANA, 2009). Extends over 6 countries, beyond a French overseas department, in which ~68% of the total area belongs to Brazil, and represents a total of 55% of Brazilian territory. Solimes and Amazon are the main rivers of the region. The global climate variations have affected the Amazon basin and the study of the large floods suffered regularly is important to characterize the volume of water of ebb, the human occupation impact evaluation, the feasibility of navigation capability and the displacement of the crust due to water loading. The annual mean rainfall varies from 1500 mm to 1700 mm. At the mouth of the Amazon it can reach 3000 mm, and in Manaus the average is 2000 mm.
Figure 1 Brazilian Basins (in blue the Amazon Basin) (

The crust displacement

The surface of the earth and the lithosphere oscillate in response to season fluctuations due to the atmosphere and, more importantly, to the hydrosphere. The vertical elastic response to environmental loading occurs at global (Blewitt et al., 2001), regional (Heki, 2001) and local scales (Bevis et al., 2004).

Figure 2 Maximum range in vertical crustal displacement during 1994-1998 (mm) (van Dam et al., 2001)

The GPS station NAUS

The geodetic GPS station is located on the northern of Manaus city, near the confluence of Amazon and Negro rivers. It belongs to the RBMC (Brazilian Network for Continuous Monitoring) and it is in operation since October 2005. Its coordinates are (SIRGAS2000):

= -03 01 22.5108 = -60 03 18.0599

h = 93.89 m
Figure 3 GPS station in Manaus (

The limnimeter and pluviometer stations

ANA has a few hundreds of limnimeter and pluviometer stations all over the country. The hydrological stations are coded according to their location. In this study, both stations are located at the Negro river.

Figure 5 Pluviometer station ( Figure 4 Limnimeter station (

Methodology - GRACE
For each 10-day geoid, the Stokes coefficients were converted into equivalent water height coefficients (Ramillien et al., 2005), and then 1 x1 global grid of water thickness (in mm) were calculated. From the ground-base stations position, GRACE-based water heights were interpolated by applying a bi-linear algorithm to the gridded data. Thus, for the same position, satellite and ground-based data were compared. The reference date (RD) of each grid was taken as the mid of 10-day interval. The RD was used to compare GRACE water thickness with daily in-situ water level data specifically on the same mean period of 10-day. A linear equation was assumed and fitted by least-square linear inversion: Y(t) = a X(t) + b (model), where: X(t): GRACE Y(t): in situ data (ANA) a: transfer function slope coefficient b: Y-axis intersection value

Methodology - GPS
A daily file (24 hours) is available at These data (HATANAKA file) were submitted through the internet facility for processing at CSRS (Canadian Spatial Reference System) Precise Point Positioning (PPP) online service available at The processing uses precise GPS orbit and clock information, referred to the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF). The processing is carried out in the absolute mode, and for this experiment L1 and L2 pseudo-range and carrier phase observations were used in the processing. According to the Geodetic Survey Division, the quality of the results depends on the type of the equipment used, atmospheric dynamics and the session duration.

Data sets
The data set used consisted of: 1. In-situ water level measurements provided by ANA ground-based for the 14990000 limnimeter station. Available at 2. In-situ precipitation measurements provided by ANA ground-based for the 359005 pluviometric station. Available at 3. 10-day GRACE data geoid solutions computed by (Biancale et al., 2006; Lemoine et al., 2007): expressed in Stokes coefficients up to degree 50 (i.e., ~450 km spatial resolution) corrected from atmospheric (ECMWF) and ocean tides (MOG-2D), available at htp:// 4. Daily GPS file processed by the CSRS.

In-situ errors
1.The estimated error on the limnimeter and pluviometric scale in the visual of data reading was up to 20 mm.

GRACE errors
1.The averaged amplitudes of errors in the Stokes coefficients provided by GRGS are ~130 mm. 2.Errors due to GRACE coefficients truncation at N=50 is 10~15 mm of equivalent-water thickness for a 450~500 km radius. 3.The seasonal amplitudes from leakage of continental waters, using the WGHM model, can reach ~21 mm of equivalent-water height. This error decreases when the distance from the estuary increases. 4.These errors in the measurements degrade a and b coefficients precision, up to 1.5% for a (dimensional less) and 2 mm for b.

GPS errors
1. The average errors in the GPS coordinates are: ~2 mm; ~6 mm; h ~12 mm.

Case study
The application of the Wavelet Power Spectrum (WPS) in the station 1499000 (ANA), GRACE and GPS station with periods less than 60 days has no significant energy. The largest contribution to energy is the annual cycle and the intraseasonal variability is less evident in time-scale (scale up to 64 and less than 100 days). The relative phase arrows can be seen in Figure 6 and 7. GRACE and ANA are completely in phase (Figure 6) pointing right. In Figure 7, GPS and ANA are completely opposite phase pointing left. More details see Barbosa and Blitzkow (2008). Figure 6 also shows ANA ground-based time-series database and GRACE-based equivalent water height (a), the scatter plot and time scale correlation (b), crosswavelet transform (c) and squared wavelet coherence (d) of the standardized ANA and GRACE time series. Figure 7 shows GPS height and ANA ground-based time-series database (a), crosswavelet transform (b) and squared wavelet coherence (c) of the standardized GPS and ANA time series. The 5% significance level against red noise is shown as a thick contour for WPS.





Figure 6 - Wavelet Power Spectrum ANA vs. GRACE




Figure 7 - Wavelet Power Spectrum GPS height vs. ANA

Figure 8 Comparison between GPS height and GRACE

Figure 9 Comparison between precipitation and ANA

The station 1499000 in Manaus shows good correlation between GRACE-based and in-situ observations. On the other hand, the GPS height present an opposite correlation between GRACE-based and in-situ observations. This implies that the crust responds instantaneously to the hydrological loading cycle This can be observed in Figures 7 and 8. The GPS height shows the crust displacement. The height coordinate presents an annual cycle of vertical displacement with peak-to-peak amplitude of 80-100 mm. In the rain season the minimum height is ~93.94 m, while in the dry season the maximum height is ~94.04 m. The wavelets transform for the analysis of the time series (ANA, GRACE and GPS) represent an excellent math tools. It shows structures located in certain periods of the years, for the droughts and floods associated with annual and semi-annual variability for the level of the rivers.

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Acknowledgements ANA agency for the hydrometric stations data, CNPq and Capes/Cofecub for supporting this research, Geopotencial Models from GRGS.