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Global Mean Gravity Field Models from Combination of Satellite Mission and Altimetry/Gravimetry Surface Data

Christoph Förste(1), Frank Flechtner(2), Roland Schmidt(2), Rolf König(2), Ulrich Meyer(2), Richard Stubenvoll(1), Markus Rothacher(1), Franz Barthelmes(1), Hans Neumayer(2), Richard Biancale(3), Sean Bruinsma(3), Jean-Michel Lemoine(3) and Sylvain Loyer(3)

(1) GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Telegrafenberg A17, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany
(2) GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, c/o DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, D-82234 Wessling, Germany
(3) Groupe de Recherche de Geodesie Spaciale, 18, avenue Edouard Belin, F-31055 Toulouse, France


Precise high-resolution global mean gravity field models are needed in various geodetic-geophysical applications such as e.g. precise orbit determination of Earth satellites at all altitudes, GPS levelling, determination of ocean surface currents from altimetry or geotectonic/geodynamic interpretation and modelling. Traditionally, such models are derived from the combination of satellite tracking data describing the long -wavelength components and surface gravity data providing the short-wavelength. With the modern high precision and homogeneous data from CHAMP and GRACE a new class of high-resolution global mean gravity field models can be derived.

At GFZ Potsdam and GRGS Toulouse, such advanced global gravity models are routinely produced in the framework of the EIGEN processing activities (EIGEN = European Improved Gravity model of the Earth by New techniques). In this contribution we highlight the latest results of the EIGEN gravity model products, labeled EIGEN-04 and EIGEN-05, and compare with outcomes of former analyses. Among other features like partially newly processed surface gravity data a special band-limited combination technique was applied to get a smooth transition from the long- to the short-wavelength bands. The obtained Earth gravity field parameters are an update of former EIGEN models of a resolution corresponding to a half-wavelength of 55 km and degree/order 360, respectively. The high quality value of these new models was recently appreciated by adopting the EIGEN-GL04C model as a standard for the reprocessing of Jason and TOPEX/Poseidon data, indicating the potential benefit of even further improved EIGEN combination models for the upcoming GOCE mission.


Workshop presentation

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry