Ocean tidal loading (OTL) is an important factor in GPS positioning, especially along the vertical direction. OTL influences the precision of GPS positioning and produces height variations of up to 12 cm. In this study, daily GPS data obtained from 27 GPS tracking stations around Taiwan were collected, and four OTL models were applied to relative static GPS positions derived from these data. The GPS data were obtained from 8 - 14 August 2006 (summer) and 1 - 30 January 2007 (winter). The software Bernese 5.0 was utilized for data processing.
During the summer, the average GPS error along the vertical axis was 2.72 cm. After correcting the measured heights with the Schwiderski, NAO.99b, CSR4.0 and TPXO.6.2 models, the average errors became 2.30, 2.30, 2.30 and 2.31 cm, respectively. In winter, the average GPS error in the vertical direction was 1.32 cm. After correcting the heights using the above models, the average errors became 0.86, 0.85, 0.89 and 0.84 cm, respectively. The precision of the vertical direction was improved by approximately 15 - 36% on average.
In eastern Taiwan, all GPS stations in the vertical direction have amplitudes smaller than 1 cm, because the ocean is more than 2000 m deep and with less shallow and narrow bights and estuaries. On the other hand, the amplitudes of GPS stations in northwestern Taiwan are larger than 1 cm because the ocean is only approximately 200 m deep. The amplitudes in the vertical direction of GPS stations are approximately 1.2 - 2.7 cm on the offshore islands of Taiwan, larger than average in Taiwan. In the future, local corrections from an OTL model are necessary for high accurate GPS positioning.