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Effects of topographic and isostatic masses in satellite gravity gradiometry

Dipl.-Ing. Franziska Wild(1)and Prof. Bernhard Heck(2)

(1) Geodätisches Institut, Universität Karlsruhe, Englerstrasse 7, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
(2) University of Karlsruhe, Englerstrasse 7, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany


Gravity gradiometry is strongly sensitive to the gravity field induced by the topographic and isostatic masses of the Earth. Based on a simplified isostatic model, based on a generalization of Helmert's condensation method, the topographic-isostatic effects are calculated for a GOCE-like satellite orbit. The relationship between the depth of the condensation layer and the residual signal in the gravity gradient tensor is investigated in detail, providing interesting results concerning the smoothness of gravity field related quantities outside the Earth’s surface.


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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