Living Planet   


Mass Transport and Mass Distribution in the Earth System

Dr Jakob Flury(1)and Dr. Reiner Rummel(2)

(1) TU München, Arcisstr.21, 80290 München, Germany
(2) Technical University Munich, Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 Muenchen, Germany


The high quality gravity field data from CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE open a range of new applications to determine mass transports, mass distribution and mass balance in the Earth system. In Germany, at present a group of scientists is initiating a priority program for these research areas. An integrative approach and an intensive cooperation between geodesy, oceanography, hydrology, glaciology and solid Earth physics are essential for the program. For GOCE, the combination of the gravity field with geometry data from altimetry and with in situ data is a key point of interest, in particular for ocean circulation, but also for ice modelling. Another central theme of the program is the analysis of time variable gravity signals based on GRACE data, which is also of some interest for GOCE, e.g for the computation of corrections to the observed gradients. Besides a summary of these activities, the paper addresses geodetic aspects of the determination of the quasistatic sea surface topography (SST) for ocean circulation modelling. Filter methods in spherical harmonics and in space domain are discussed. These are important due to the different data structure and resolution of the geoid, the altimetric sea surface and the ocean model grid. The spectral signal content of SST models is analysed in order to discuss methods to achieve solutions with maximum spatial resolution.


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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