Gravity Field Recovery from GRACE-SST Data of Short Arcs

  • Torsten Mayer-Gürr
  • Annette Eicker
  • Karl Heinz Ilk


The signal content in the low-low SST observables of the gravity field twin-satellite mission GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) varies in the space domain depending on the roughness of the gravity field features. On the one hand, the maximum degree of the spherical harmonic expansion has to be selected as high as possible to bring out the maximum of gravity field information out of the data. On the other hand, an increasing maximal degree deteriorates the stability of the normal equations to solve for the gravity field parameters. Therefore, a trade-off is necessary between the selection of a maximal degree adequate for representing the signal content in the observables, on the one hand, and a maximal degree which can still be recovered without causing instabilities, on the other hand. We propose to integrate the global gravity field recovery with regional gravity field refinements tailored to the specific gravity field features in these regions: In a first step, the gravity field only up to a moderate safely determinable degree is recovered; the specific analysis features tailored to the individual gravity field characteristics in areas of rough gravity field signal will be modelled subsequently by space localizing base functions in a second step. In a final third step, a spherical harmonic expansion up to an (in principle) arbitrary degree can be derived based on a numerical Gauss — Legendre - quadrature procedure without any stability problems. The procedure will be applied in a first example to observations of a GRACE simulation scenario to test the potential capabilities of the approach. A second application demonstrates the determination of a global gravity field model and regional refinements based on low-low SST data of the GRACE twin satellite mission for the August 2003 observations.

Key words

GRACE SST low-low high-low global gravity field recovery gravity field refinement gravity field zoom-in space localizing base functions Gauss-Legendre-quadrature 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Torsten Mayer-Gürr
    • 1
  • Annette Eicker
    • 1
  • Karl Heinz Ilk
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Theoretical GeodesyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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