Dynamic Planet pp 638-645 | Cite as

Definition and Realisation of the SIRGAS Vertical Reference System within a Globally Unified Height System

  • Laura Sanchez
Part of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia book series (IAG SYMPOSIA, volume 130)


The new SIRGAS vertical reference system is based on the determination of an equipotential reference surface W 0 within a global definition, i.e. optimally fitting the worldwide mean sea surface. The corresponding W 0 value (mean geopotential value over the total ocean surface) is empirically estimated using different combinations of global gravity models (EGM96, TEG4, GGM02S, EIGEN-CG03C) and mean sea surface models (CLS01, KMS04, GFSC00.1 and a series of annual models from 1993 to 2001 derived at DGFI from T/P). The results show the W 0 dependence on the GGM’s degree n, on the latitudinal extension, and on time. The recommended W 0 value (62 636 853,4 m 2 s −2) is derived from EIGEN-CG03C (n = 120) and referred to the epoch 2000.0. It differs from previous computations by 3 m 2 s −2 (e.g. Bursa et al. 2002, Bursa et al. 2004). A preliminary realisation of this new reference level is accomplished by transforming the existing South American classical height datums (defined individually at different tide gauges) through the combination of GNSS positioning, high resolution (quasi)geoid models and physical heights derived from spirit levelling and terrestrial gravity data.


Global reference level W0 unified vertical reference system world height system height datum unification 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Sanchez
    • 1
  1. 1.DGFIMunichGermany

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