A GPS network for tropospheric tomography in the framework of the Mediterranean hydrometeorological observatory Cévennes-Vivarais (southeastern France)
The Mediterranean hydrometeorological observatory Cévennes-Vivarais (OHM-CV) coordinates hydrometeorological observations (radars, rain gauges, water level stations) on a regional scale in southeastern France. In the framework of OHM-CV, temporary GPS measurements have been carried out for 2 months in autumn 2002, when the heaviest rainfall are expected. These measurements increase the spatial density of the existing permanent GPS network, by adding three more receivers between the Mediterranean coast and the Cévennes-Vivarais range to monitor maritime source of water vapour flow feeding the precipitating systems over the Cévennes-Vivarais region. In addition, a local network of 18 receivers covered an area of 30 by 30 km within the field of view of the meteorological radar. These regional and local networks of permanent and temporary stations are used to monitor the precipitable water vapour (PWV) with high temporal resolution (15 min). Also, the dense local network provided data which have been inverted using tomographic techniques to obtain the 3-D field of tropospheric water vapour content. This study presents methodological tests for retrieving GPS tropospheric observations from dense networks, with the aim of assessing the uncertainties of GPS retrievals. Using optimal tropospheric GPS retrieval methods, high resolution measurements of PWV on a local scale (a few kilometres) are discussed for rain events. Finally, the results of 3-D fields of water vapour densities from GPS tomography are analysed with respect to precipitation fields derived from a meteorological radar, showing a good correlation between precipitation and water vapour depletion areas.