Stabilization of Satellite Derived Gravity Field Coefficients by Earth Orientation Parameters and Excitation Functions

  • Andrea HeikerEmail author
  • Hansjörg Kutterer
  • Jürgen Müller
Conference paper
Part of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia book series (IAG SYMPOSIA, volume 136)


The time variable gravity field of the Earth is determined by GRACE and SLR. Different gravity field solutions reveal some discrepancies in the low degree coefficients, especially C 20. The second degree gravity field coefficients are directly related to the Earth’s unknown tensor of inertia as well as the mass terms of the excitation functions, which describe the effects of atmosphere and ocean on Earth rotation. A further relationship exists between the Earth orientation parameters (polar motion and length of day), the motion terms of the excitation functions and the tensor of inertia. Up to now these interdependencies are not used for the calculation of the gravity field coefficients. They can therefore be used to validate the various parameter groups mutually. More reliable second degree gravity field coefficients can possibly be obtained if the Earth orientation parameters and the excitation functions are taken into account. This paper presents a novel method to integrate Earth orientation parameters, excitation functions and gravity field coefficients in a least-squares adjustment model with additional condition equations. This leads to consistent time series.


Excitation Function Polar Motion Bias Parameter Earth Orientation Parameter Partial Redundancy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The results presented have been derived within the work on the project “Mutual validation of EOP and gravity field coefficients” within the research unit Earth Rotation and global geodynamic processes funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG FOR584: This is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. Bizouard C, Gambis D (2007) The combined solution C04 for Earth orientation parameters consistent with International Terrestrial Reference Frame 2005. Online February 2010.
  2. Chen J (2005) Global mass balance and the length-of-day variation. J Geophys Res 110: B08404. http: // Scholar
  3. Chen JL, Wilson CR (2008) Low degree gravity changes from GRACE, Earth rotation, geophysical models, and satellite laser ranging. J Geophys Res 113:B06402.
  4. Dobslaw H, Thomas M (2007) Simulation and observation of global ocean mass anomalies. J Geophys Res 112:C05040.
  5. Gross R (2007) Earth rotation variations – long period. In: Herring T (ed) Treatise on geophysics, vol 3. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  6. Gross R, Fukumori I, Menemenlis D (2005) Atmospheric and oceanic excitation of decadal-scale Earth orientation variations. J Geophys Res 110:B09405.
  7. Heiker A, Kutterer H, Müller J (2008) Combined analysis of Earth orientation parameters and gravity field coefficients for mutual validation. In: Observing our changing Earth, vol 133. Springer, Berlin, pp 853–859.
  8. Hofmann-Wellenhof B, Moritz H (2006) Physical geodesy, 2nd edn. Springer, WienGoogle Scholar
  9. Koch KR (1999) Parameter estimation and hypothesis testing in linear models, 2nd edn. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  10. Mayer-Gürr T (2006) Gravitationsfeldbestimmung aus der Analyse kurzer Bahnbögen am Beispiel der Satellitenmissionen CHAMP und GRACE. Ph.D. thesis, Universität Bonn.
  11. McCarthy DD, Petit G (eds) (2003) IERS Conventions. IERS technical notes No. 32. International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), Verlag BKG, Frankfurt (Main) (2004).
  12. Moritz H, Mueller II (1987) Earth rotation. The Ungar Publishing Company, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  13. Nastula J, Ponte RM, Salstein DA (2007) Comparison of polar motion excitation series derived from GRACE and from analyses of geophysical fluids. Geophys Res Lett, 34, L11306,  doi:10.1029/2006GL028983
  14. Rochester MG, Smylie DE (1974) On changes in the trace of the earth’s inertia tensor. J Geophys Res 79:4948–4951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Thomas M (2002) Ocean induced variations of Earth’s rotation – results from a simultaneous model of global circulation and tides. Ph.D. thesis, University of HamburgGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Heiker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hansjörg Kutterer
    • 1
  • Jürgen Müller
    • 2
  1. 1.Geodätisches InstitutLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Institut für ErdmessungLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany

Personalised recommendations