Testing deformation hypotheses by constraints on a time series of geodetic observations

Hiddo Velsink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In geodetic deformation analysis observations are used to identify form and size changes of a geodetic network, representing objects on the earth's surface. The network points are monitored, often continuously, because of suspected deformations. A deformation may affect many points during many epochs. The problem is that the best description of the deformation is, in general, unknown. To find it, different hypothesised deformation models have to be tested systematically for agreement with the observations. The tests have to be capable of stating with a certain probability the size of detectable deformations, and to be datum invariant. A statistical criterion is needed to find the best deformation model. Existing methods do not fulfil these requirements. Here we propose a method that formulates the different hypotheses as sets of constraints on the parameters of a least-squares adjustment model. The constraints can relate to subsets of epochs and to subsets of points, thus combining time series analysis and congruence model analysis. The constraints are formulated as nonstochastic observations in an adjustment model of observation equations. This gives an easy way to test the constraints and to get a quality description. The proposed method aims at providing a good discriminating method to find the best description of a deformation. The method is expected to improve the quality of geodetic deformation analysis. We demonstrate the method with an elaborate example.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Geodesy
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Dec 2017


  • Best deformation description
  • Geodetic deformation analysis
  • Least-squares adjustment
  • Nonstochastic observations
  • Testing constraints
  • Time series analysis


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