Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 339–386

The European Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer Satellite Mission Its Impact on Geophysics

  • J. A. Johannessen
  • G. Balmino
  • C. Le Provost
  • R. Rummel
  • R. Sabadini
  • H. Sünkel
  • C.C. Tscherning
  • P. Visser
  • P. Woodworth
  • C. Hughes
  • P. Legrand
  • N. Sneeuw
  • F. Perosanz
  • M. Aguirre-Martinez
  • H. Rebhan
  • M. Drinkwater
Article

Abstract

Current knowledge of the Earth's gravity field and its geoid, as derived from various observing techniques and sources, is incomplete. Within a reasonable time, substantial improvement will come by exploiting new approaches based on spaceborne gravity observation. Among these, the European Space Agency (ESA) Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite mission concept has been conceived and designed taking into account multi-disciplinary research objectives in solid Earth physics, oceanography and geodesy. Based on the unique capability of a gravity gradiometer combined with satellite-to-satellite high-low tracking techniques, an accurate and detailed global model of the Earth's gravity field and its corresponding geoid will be recovered. The importance of this is demonstrated by a series of realistic simulation experiments. In particular, the quantitative impact of the new and accurate gravity field and geoid is examined in studies of tectonic composition and motion, Glaciological Isostatic Adjustment, ocean mesoscale variability, water mass transport, and unification of height systems. Improved knowledge in each of these fields will also ensure the accumulation of new understanding of past and present sea-level changes.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Johannessen
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Balmino
    • 3
  • C. Le Provost
    • 4
  • R. Rummel
    • 5
  • R. Sabadini
    • 6
  • H. Sünkel
    • 7
  • C.C. Tscherning
    • 8
  • P. Visser
    • 9
  • P. Woodworth
    • 10
  • C. Hughes
    • 10
  • P. Legrand
    • 11
  • N. Sneeuw
    • 5
    • 12
  • F. Perosanz
    • 3
  • M. Aguirre-Martinez
    • 13
  • H. Rebhan
    • 13
  • M. Drinkwater
    • 13
  1. 1.Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing CenterBergenNorway
  2. 2.Geophysical InstituteUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  3. 3.Centre National d`Etudes Spatiales – GRGSToulouse, Cedex 4France
  4. 4.Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie SpatialesToulouse, Cedex 4France
  5. 5.Astronomical and Physical Geodetic InstituteTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany
  6. 6.Dipartimento di Scienze della TerraUniversitá di MilanoMilanoItaly
  7. 7.Mathematical Geodesy and GeoinformaticsTechnical University of GrazGrazAustria
  8. 8.Department of GeophysicsUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark
  9. 9.Delft Institute for Earth-Oriented Space ResearchDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  10. 10.Proudman Oceanographic LaboratoryBidston ObservatoryBidston Hill, PrentonUnited Kingdom
  11. 11.IFREMER, Physical Oceanography DepartmentTechnopole Brest IroisePlouzanéFrance
  12. 12.Department of Geomatics EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  13. 13.European Space Agency - ESTECNoordwijkThe Netherlands

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