Zenith Tropospheric Delay (ZTD) due to water vapor derived from space geodetic techniques and numerical weather prediction simulated-reanalysis data exhibits non-linear and non-stationary properties akin to those in the crucial geophysical signals of interest to the research community. These time series, once decomposed into additive (and stochastic) components, have information about the long term global change (the trend) and other interpretable (quasi-) periodic components such as seasonal cycles and noise. Such stochastic component(s) could be a function that exhibits at most one extremum within a data span or a monotonic function within a certain temporal span. In this contribution, we examine the use of the combined Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) and Independent Component Analysis (ICA): the EEMD-ICA algorithm to extract the independent local oscillatory stochastic components in the tropospheric delay derived from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) over six geodetic sites (HartRAO, Hobart26, Wettzell, Gilcreek, Westford, and Tsukub32). The proposed methodology allows independent geophysical processes to be extracted and assessed. Analysis of the quality index of the Independent Components (ICs) derived for each cluster of local oscillatory components (also called the Intrinsic Mode Functions (IMFs)) for all the geodetic stations considered in the study demonstrate that they are strongly site dependent. Such strong dependency seems to suggest that the localized geophysical signals embedded in the ZTD over the geodetic sites are not correlated. Further, from the viewpoint of non-linear dynamical systems, four geophysical signals the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) index derived from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) anomaly from NCEP, the SIDC monthly Sun Spot Number (SSN), and the Length of Day (LoD) are linked to the extracted signal components from ZTD. Results from the synchronization analysis show that ZTD and the geophysical signals exhibit (albeit subtle) site dependent phase synchronization index.
Proceedings of the Sixth General Meeting of the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry; 345-354; NASA/CP-2010-215864