Skip to main content

Parameters of the Earth's tri-axial level ellipsoid


Four parameters defining the Earth's tri-axial ellipsoid (E) have been derived on the basis of the condition that the gravity potential on E be constant and equal to the actual geopotential value (W0) on the geoid. The geocentric gravitational constant, the angular velocity of the Earth's rotation, the actual 2nd degree geopotential Stokes parameters and W0 are taken to be the primary geodetic constants defining E and its (normal) gravity field.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. P. Pizzetti: Sulla espressione della gravita alla superficie del geoide, supposto elli soidico. Atti R. Accad. Lincei, Ser. V, v.3 (1894), 166.

  2. M. B. Zadro, A. Marussi: On the static effect of Moon and Sun on the shape of the Earth. In: ATTI Proceedings V Simposio sulla Geodesia Matematics, Firenze, 25–26 Ottobre 1972, Firenze 1973, 249–267.

  3. M. Burša, Z. Šíma, J. Kostelecký: Determination of the geopotential scale factor from satellite altimetry. Studia geoph. et goed.,36 (1992), 101–108.

    Google Scholar 

  4. J. C. Ries, R. J. Eanes, C. Huang, B. E. Schutz, C. K. Shum, B. D. Tapley, M. M. Watkings, D. N. Yuan: Determination of the Gravitational Coefficient of the Earth from Near-Earth Satellites. Geophys. Res. Letters,16 (1989), 271–274.

    Google Scholar 

  5. J. G. Marsch, F. J. Lerch, B. H. Putney, T. L. Felsentreger, B. V. Sanchez, S. M. Klosko, G. B. Patel, J. W. Robbins, R. G. Williamson, T. L. Engelis, W. F. Eddy, N. L. Chandler, D. S. Chinn, S. Kapoor, K. E. Rachlin, L. E. Braatz, E. C. Pavlis: The GEM-T2 Gravitational Model. J. Geophys. Res.,95 (1990), 22043–22071.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Report of IAG SSG 5-100. Parameters of Common Relevance of Astronomy, Geodesy, and Geodynamics. Bull. Géod.,66 (1992), 193–197.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Burša, M., Fialová, V. Parameters of the Earth's tri-axial level ellipsoid. Stud Geophys Geod 37, 1–13 (1993).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Angular Velocity
  • Structural Geology
  • Gravity Field
  • Gravity Potential
  • Gravitational Constant