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A New Global Continental Margin Gravity Model derived from Altimeter Data

J Derek Fairhead(1) , Chris M Green(1) , and Kirsten M. U. Fletcher(1)

(1) GETECH, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT , United Kingdom


Since the mid 1990s, GETECH has developed new and more reliable techniques to repick (retrack)and derive the gravity field from altimeter data. These research studies resulted in 2002-2004 in an oil industry funded global study to generate a high resolution continental margin gravity model extending from 500 km offshore to within 2 to 5 km of the coastline for all open marine regions.The resulting model based on ERS1 and Geosat GM data, spatially images the geology of all the world’s continental margins down to a resolution of 10 km full wavelength at ~3 mGals. This dataset is now playing a significant role within the oil industry in screening exploration opportunities in both the shallow and deep water areas of the continental margin.

This contribution will introduce delegates to the new techniques we have developed in the reprocessing of the altimeter data and will demonstrate the improved resolution of our gravity model with respect to existing data sets and to the more restricted higher resolution terrestrial marine data.


Workshop presentation


                 Last modified: 07.10.03