, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 289-304

Comparison of the qualities of recent global and local gravimetric geoid models in Iran

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Abstract

A number of regional gravimetric geoid models have recently been determined for the Iran area, and a common problem is to select the best model, e.g. for engineering applications. A related problem is that in order to improve the local geoid models, the selection of the best Global Geopotential Model (GGM) model for the region is essential, to be used in a combined solution from GGM and local gravimetric data. We discuss these problems by taking advantage of 260 GPS/levelling points as an external tool for validation of different global and local geoid models in the absolute and relative senses. By using relative comparisons of the height differences between precise levelling and GPS/geoid models we avoid possible unknown systematic effects between the different types of observables.

The study shows that the combination of the newly released GRACE model (GGM02C) with EGM96 geoid model fits the GPS/levelling data in Iran with the best absolute and relative accuracy among the GGMs. Among the local geoid models, the newly gravimetric geoid model IRG04 agrees considerably better with GPS/levelling than any of the other recent local geoid models. Its rms fit with GPS/levelling is 55 cm. Hence, we strongly recommend the use of this new model in any surveying engineering or GPS/levelling projects in the area.