Geodesy for Geoscience

Geoscience is an all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. It generally includes the study of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, oceans and biosphere, as well as the solid earth. Earth scientists have generally relied on geodetic reference frames to underpin the geospatial information they collect. With recent technological advances and the relative ease of use modern sensors, such as GPS/GNSS, scientists now use geodetic techniques and tools to extract geophysical, atmospheric and other ‘signals of interest’ to build an understanding of how the Earth system works, and how it evolved to its current state.

Our national and global geodetic reference frames, and the measure of their temporal variability at various spatial scales, now play a significant role supporting the most demanding geoscience applications. Given the relative ease of use of GPS/GNSS technologies, geoscientists have readily adopted them while increasingly relying on geodetic products that provide them the accuracy they required. Access to the accurate and stable global geodetic reference frames through GPS/GNSS precise orbits provided by the Canadian Geodetic Survey (CGS) on a continuous basis has become key to high-resolution modeling of Earth and atmospheric processes that may vary over time intervals of seconds to decades. The specialized expertise of CGS staff to inform scientist who wish to extract the highest accuracy from their surveys and maintain positional time series over long time frames has also become critical to the understanding and interpretation of the processes being investigated.