Combined monthly GRACE-FO gravity fields for a Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product

verfasst von
U. Meyer, M. Lasser, C. Dahle, C. Förste, S. Behzadpour, I. Koch, A. Jäggi

The Combination Service for Time-variable Gravity fields (COST-G) operationally provides combinations of monthly Earth gravity field models derived from observations of the microwave ranging instrument of the GRACE Follow-on (GRACE-FO) satellite mission, applying the quality control and combination methodology originally developed by the Horizon 2020 project European Gravity Service for Improved Emergency Management for the data of the GRACE satellites. In the frame of the follow-up Horizon 2020 project Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product (G3P), the GRACE-FO combination is used to derive global grids of groundwater storage anomalies. To meet the user requirements and achieve optimal signal-to-noise ratio, the combination has been further developed and extended to incorporate: • new time-series based on the alternative accelerometer transplant product generated in the frame of the project by the Institute of Geodesy at the Graz University of Technology, which specifically improves the estimation of the C30 coefficient and also reduces the noise at medium to short wavelengths, and • the new time-series AIUB–GRACE-FO–RL02 of monthly GRACE-FO gravity fields, which is derived at the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern by applying empirical noise modelling techniques. The COST-G quality control confirms the consistency of the contributing GRACE-FO time-series concerning the signal amplitude of seasonal hydrology in large river basins and the secular mass change in polar regions, but it also indicates rather diverse noise characteristics. The difference in the noise levels is taken into account in the combination process by relative weights derived by variance component estimation on the solution level. The weights are expected to be inverse proportional to the noise levels of the individual gravity field solutions. However, this expectation is violated when applying the weighting scheme as developed for the GRACE combination. The reason is found in the high-order coefficients of the gravity field, which are poorly determined from the low–low range-rate observations due to the observation geometry and suffer from aliasing due to the malfunctioning accelerometer onboard one of the GRACE-FO satellites. Hence, for the final G3P-combination a revised weighting scheme is applied where the gravity field coefficients beyond order 60 are excluded from the determination of the weights. The quality of the combined gravity fields is assessed by comparison of the noise content and the signal-to-noise ratio with the individual time-series. Independent validation is provided by the COST-G validation centre at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, where orbit fits of the low-flying Gravity and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite are performed that confirm the high quality of the combined GRACE-FO gravity fields.

Institut für Erdmessung
Externe Organisation(en)
University of Bern
Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum
Universität Graz
Technische Universität Graz
Geophysical journal international
Anzahl der Seiten
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Geophysik, Geochemie und Petrologie
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Details im Forschungsportal „Research@Leibniz University“