GOCO06s – A satellite-only global gravity field model

Andreas Kvas*, Jan Martin Brockmann, Sandro Krauß, Till Schubert, Thomas Gruber, Ulrich Meyer, Torsten Mayer-Gürr, Wolf-Dieter Schuh, Adrian Jäggi, Roland Pail

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GOCO06s is the latest satellite-only global gravity field model computed by the GOCO (Gravity Observation Combination) project. It is based on over a billion observations acquired over 15 years from 19 satellites with different complementary observation principles. This combination of different measurement techniques is key in providing consistently high accuracy and best possible spatial resolution of the Earth's gravity field. The motivation for the new release was the availability of reprocessed observation data for the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), updated background models, and substantial improvements in the processing chains of the individual contributions. Due to the long observation period, the model consists not only of a static gravity field, but comprises additionally modeled temporal variations. These are represented by time-variable spherical harmonic coefficients, using a deterministic model for a regularized trend and annual oscillation. The main focus within the GOCO combination process is on the proper handling of the stochastic behavior of the input data. Appropriate noise modeling for the observations used results in realistic accuracy information for the derived gravity field solution. This accuracy information, represented by the full variance-covariance matrix, is extremely useful for further combination with, for example, terrestrial gravity data and is published together with the solution. The primary model data consisting of potential coefficients representing Earth's static gravity field, together with secular and annual variations, are available on the International Centre for Global Earth Models (http://icgem.gfz-potsdam.de/, last access: 11 June 2020). This data set is identified with the following DOI: Https://doi.org/10.5880/ICGEM.2019.002 (Kvas et al., 2019b). Supplementary material consisting of the full variance-covariance matrix of the static potential coefficients and estimated co-seismic mass changes is available at https://ifg.tugraz.at/GOCO (last access: 11 June 2020).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-118
Number of pages20
JournalEarth System Science Data
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems


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