On the computation of gravitational effects for tesseroids with constant and linearly varying density

verfasst von
Miao Lin, Heiner Denker

The accurate computation of gravitational effects from topographic and atmospheric masses is one of the core issues in gravity field modeling. Using gravity forward modeling based on Newton’s integral, mass distributions are generally decomposed into regular mass bodies, which can be represented by rectangular prisms or polyhedral bodies in a rectangular coordinate system, or tesseroids in a spherical coordinate system. In this study, we prefer the latter representation because it can directly take the Earth’s curvature into account, which is particularly beneficial for regional and global applications. Since the volume integral cannot be solved analytically in the case of tesseroids, approximation solutions are applied. However, one well-recognized issue of these solutions is that the accuracy decreases as the computation point approaches the tesseroid. To overcome this problem, we develop a method that can precisely compute the gravitational potential (V) and vector (Vx, Vy, Vz) on the tesseroid surface. In addition to considering a constant density for the tesseroid, we further derive formulas for a linearly varying density. In the near zone (up to a spherical distance of 15 times the horizontal tesseroid dimension from the computation point), the gravitational effects of the tesseroids are computed by Gauss–Legendre quadrature using a two-dimensional adaptive subdivision technique to ensure high accuracy. The tesseroids outside this region are evaluated by means of expanding the integral kernel in a Taylor series up to the second order. The method is validated by synthetic tests of spherical shells with constant and linearly varying density, and the resulting approximation error is less than 10-4m2s-2 for V, 10-5mGal for Vx, 10-7mGal for Vy, and 10-4mGal for Vz. Its practical applicability is then demonstrated through the computation of topographic reductions in the White Sands test area and of global atmospheric effects on the Earth’s surface using the US Standard Atmosphere 1976.

Institut für Erdmessung
Journal of geodesy
Anzahl der Seiten
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Geophysik, Geochemie und Petrologie, Computer in den Geowissenschaften
Elektronische Version(en)
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00190-018-1193-4 (Zugang: Geschlossen)

Details im Forschungsportal „Research@Leibniz University“