Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 92, Issue 8, pp 923–937 | Cite as

The New Zealand gravimetric quasigeoid model 2017 that incorporates nationwide airborne gravimetry

  • J. C. McCubbineEmail author
  • M. J. Amos
  • F. C. Tontini
  • E. Smith
  • R. Winefied
  • V. Stagpoole
  • W. E. Featherstone
Original Article


A one arc-minute resolution gravimetric quasigeoid model has been computed for New Zealand, covering the region \(25^{\circ }\hbox {S}\)\(60^{\circ }\hbox {S}\) and \(160^{\circ }\hbox {E}\)\(170^{\circ }\hbox {W}\). It was calculated by Wong and Gore modified Stokes integration using the remove–compute–restore technique with the EIGEN-6C4 global gravity model as the reference field. The gridded gravity data used for the computation consisted of 40,677 land gravity observations, satellite altimetry-derived marine gravity anomalies, historical shipborne marine gravity observations and, importantly, approximately one million new airborne gravity observations. The airborne data were collected with the specific intention of reinforcing the shortcomings of the existing data in areas of rough topography inaccessible to land gravimetry and in coastal areas where shipborne gravimetry cannot be collected and altimeter-derived gravity anomalies are generally poor. The new quasigeoid has a nominal precision of \(\pm \,48\,\hbox {mm}\) on comparison with GPS-levelling data, which is approximately \(14\,\hbox {mm}\) less than its predecessor NZGeoid09.


Airborne gravity Gravimetric quasigeoid New Zealand 



The project to recompute the NZ gravimetric quasigeoid was organised and funded by Land Information New Zealand. Scientific equipment was provided by GNS Science, and data processing/computational steps were overseen by staff at GNS Science and Victoria University of Wellington. Later stages of this work have been supported financially by the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information, whose activities are funded by the Business Cooperative Research Centres Programme, and by Geoscience Australia. Maps and charts in this paper were produced using GMT (Wessel et al. 2013). We thank Scripps Institution of Oceanography (University of California), the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the use National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency for permission to use the marine gravity anomalies from Sandwell et al. (2014). Jack McCubbine publishes this paper with the permission of the CEO, Geoscience Australia. We would further like to thank Nicholas Brown at Geoscience Australia for his constructive critique of this manuscript. Finally, thanks go to the three anonymous reviewers and handling editor of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geodesy Section, Community Safety and Earth Monitoring DivisionGeoscience AustraliaCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Land Information New ZealandWellingtonNew Zealand
  3. 3.GNS ScienceLower HuttNew Zealand
  4. 4.Victoria University of Wellington, KelburnWellingtonNew Zealand
  5. 5.Department of Spatial Sciences, The Institute for Geoscience ResearchCurtin University of TechnologyPerthAustralia

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