Gravity field models derived from Swarm GPS data

João Teixeira da Encarnação, Daniel Arnold, Ales Bezdek, Christoph Dahle, Eelco Doornbos, Jose van den IJssel, Adrian Jäggi, Torsten Mayer-Gürr, Josef Sebera, Pieter Visser, Norbert Zehentner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is of great interest to numerous geophysical studies that the time series of global gravity field models derived from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data remains uninterrupted after the end of this mission. With this in mind, some institutes have been spending efforts to estimate gravity field models from alternative sources of gravimetric data. This study focuses on the gravity field solutions estimated from Swarm global positioning system (GPS) data, produced by the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern, the Astronomical Institute (ASU, Czech Academy of Sciences) and Institute of Geodesy (IfG, Graz University of Technology). The three sets of solutions are based on different approaches, namely the celestial mechanics approach, the acceleration approach and the short-arc approach, respectively. We derive the maximum spatial resolution of the time-varying gravity signal in the Swarm gravity field models to be degree 12, in comparison with the more accurate models obtained from K-band ranging data of GRACE. We demonstrate that the combination of the GPS-driven models produced with the three different approaches improves the accuracy in all analysed monthly solutions, with respect to any of them. In other words, the combined gravity field model consistently benefits from the individual strengths of each separate solution. The improved accuracy of the combined model is expected to bring benefits to the geophysical studies during the period when no dedicated gravimetric mission is operational.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127
Number of pages1
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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