Open Access

Geodynamical value of historical geodetic measurements: A theoretical analysis

  • Peiliang Xu1Email author,
  • Seiichi Shimada2,
  • Yoichiro Fujii3 and
  • Torao Tanaka4
Earth, Planets and Space201452:BF03352319

DOI: 10.1186/BF03352319

Received: 6 December 1999

Accepted: 12 September 2000

Published: 24 June 2014


Historical geodetic measurements have been used to infer on the displacement and strain states locally or regionally. They are also often used to invert for other geophysical parameters. However, historical geodetic measurements have been known to contain significant scaling and orientation errors, which may even be different in different parts of a network. These significant error sources may result in producing a wrong (or at least, a misleading) displacement or strain field. When such a displacement or strain field is further used to invert certain geophysical parameters, mis-interpretations may be expected. Thus, in this paper, we will perform a theoretical analysis to answer the following three questions: (i) are displacements obtainable from historical geodetic data? (ii) are strains obtainable from historical geodetic data? and (iii) what geodynamical value do historical geodetic data have?