Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 79, Issue 10–11, pp 624–640 | Cite as

Short-wavelength Spectral Properties of the Gravity Field from a Range of Regional Data Sets

  • Jakob FluryEmail author
Original Article


The GRACE (gravity recovery and climate experiment) and GOCE (gravity field and steady-state ocean circulation explorer) dedicated gravity satellite missions are expected to deliver the long-wavelength scales of the Earth’s gravity field with extreme precision. For many applications in Earth sciences, future research activities will have to focus on a similar precision on shorter scales not recovered by satellite missions. Here, we investigate the signal power of gravity anomalies at such short scales. We derive an average degree variance and power spectral density model for topography-reduced gravity anomalies (residual terrain model anomalies and de-trended refined Bouguer anomalies), which is valid for wavelengths between 0.7 and 100  km. The model is based on the analysis of gravity anomalies from 13 test regions in various geographical areas and geophysical settings, using various power spectrum computation approaches. The power of the derived average topography-reduced model is considerably lower than the Tscherning–Rapp free air anomaly model. The signal power of the individual test regions deviates from the obtained average model by less than a factor of 4 in terms of square-root power spectral amplitudes. Despite the topographic reduction, the highest signal power is found in mountainous areas and the lowest signal power in flat terrain. For the derived average power spectral model, a validation procedure is developed based on least-squares prediction tests. The validation shows that the model leads to a good prediction quality and realistic error measures. Therefore, for least-squares prediction, the model could replace the use of autocovariance functions derived from local or regional data.


Gravity field Gravity anomalies Degree variances Power spectral density Least-squares prediction Topographic reduction RTM reduction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Astronomical and Physical GeodesyTechnische Universität MünchenMünchenGermany

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