, Volume 82, Issue 6, pp 331-346
Date: 23 Oct 2007

The GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam/Groupe de Recherche de Gèodésie Spatiale satellite-only and combined gravity field models: EIGEN-GL04S1 and EIGEN-GL04C

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The recent improvements in the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) tracking data processing at GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ) and Groupe de Recherche de Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS) Toulouse, the availability of newer surface gravity data sets in the Arctic, Antarctica and North-America, and the availability of a new mean sea surface height model from altimetry processing at GFZ gave rise to the generation of two new global gravity field models. The first, EIGEN-GL04S1, a satellite-only model complete to degree and order 150 in terms of spherical harmonics, was derived by combination of the latest GFZ Potsdam GRACE-only (EIGEN-GRACE04S) and GRGS Toulouse GRACE/LAGEOS (EIGEN-GL04S) mean field solutions. The second, EIGEN-GL04S1 was combined with surface gravity data from altimetry over the oceans and gravimetry over the continents to derive a new high-resolution global gravity field model called EIGEN-GL04C. This model is complete to degree and order 360 and thus resolves geoid and gravity anomalies at half- wavelengths of 55 km at the equator. A degree-dependent combination method has been applied in order to preserve the high accuracy from the GRACE satellite data in the lower frequency band of the geopotential and to form a smooth transition to the high-frequency information coming from the surface data. Compared to pre-CHAMP global high-resolution models, the accuracy was improved at a spatial resolution of 200 km (half-wavelength) by one order of magnitude to 3 cm in terms of geoid heights. The accuracy of this model (i.e. the commission error) at its full spatial resolution is estimated to be 15 cm. The model shows a reduced artificial meridional striping and an increased correlation of EIGEN-GL04C-derived geostrophic meridional currents with World Ocean Atlas 2001 (WOA01) data. These improvements have led to select EIGEN-GL04C for JASON-1 satellite altimeter data reprocessing.