The Australian Height Datum (AHD) is the current national vertical datum for Australia, and AUSGeoid09 is the latest quasigeoid model used to compute (normal-orthometric)AHDheights fromGlobalNavigation Satellite System (GNSS) derived ellipsoidal heights. While previous studies have evaluated the AUSGeoid09 model across Australia, such studies have not focused on mountainous regions in particular. This paper investigates the performance of AUSGeoid09 in an absolute sense in the Mid Hunter and Snowy Mountains regions of New South Wales. Absolute (i.e. single point) comparisons were undertaken between AUSGeoid09-derived heights and published AHD heights. The performance of AUSGeoid09 was evaluated relative to its predecessor AUSGeoid98. In both study areas, an overall improvement is evident when applying AUSGeoid09 to compute AHD heights in an absolute sense. In the MidHunter, AUSGeoid09 provided a substantial improvement over its predecessor, clearly demonstrating the benefits of its new geometric component on GNSS-derived AHD height determination. In the Snowy Mountains, moderate improvement over AUSGeoid98 was evident. However, a slope was detected for AUSGeoid09 residuals, and it appears that the geometric component may have overcompensated for sea surface topography in this area. While this appraisal of AUSGeoid09 performance in mountainous regions is encouraging, it has been shown that some discrepancies still remain between AUSGeoid09-derived heights and AHD. Eventually, a new vertical datum will be necessary to ensure homogeneity across Australia.
© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston