EGU21-14747, updated on 09 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Investigation of bias in traditional grouping by means of regularization

Adam Ciesielski1 and Thomas Forbriger1,2
Adam Ciesielski and Thomas Forbriger
  • 1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Geophysical Institute, Department of Physics, Karlsruhe, Germany (
  • 2Black Forest Observatory (BFO), Schiltach, Germany

Harmonic tidal analysis bases on the presumption that since short records and close frequencies result in an ill-conditioned matrix equation, a record of length T is required to distinguish harmonics with a frequency separation of 1/T (Rayleigh criterion). To achieve stability of the solution, tidal harmonics are grouped. Nevertheless, if any additional information from different harmonics within the assumed groups is present in the data, it cannot be resolved. While the most information in each group is carried by the harmonic with the largest amplitude, time series from other harmonics is properly taken into account in estimated amplitudes and phases. However, if the signal from the next largest harmonic in a group is significantly different from the expectation, the grouping parametrization might lead to an inaccurate estimate of tidal parameters. That might be an issue since harmonics in a group do not have the same admittance factor, or if the assumed relationship between harmonics degree 2 and 3 is false.

The bias caused by grouping tidal harmonics can be investigated with methods used for stabilizing inverse problem solutions. In our study, we abandon the concept of groups. The resulting ill-posedness of the problem is reduced by constraining the model parameters (1) to reference values and (2) to the condition that admittance shall be a smooth function of frequency. The mentioned regularization terms are present in the least-squares objective function, and the trade-off parameter between the model misfit and data residuals is chosen by the L-curve criterion. We demonstrate how this method may be used to reveal system properties hidden by wave grouping in tidal analysis. We also suggest that forcing time series amplitude may be more relevant grouping criterion than solely frequency closeness of harmonics.

How to cite: Ciesielski, A. and Forbriger, T.: Investigation of bias in traditional grouping by means of regularization, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14747,, 2021.


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