Journal Article

GRACE time-variable gravity field recovery using an improved energy balance approach

Kun Shang, Junyi Guo, C.K. Shum, Chunli Dai and Jia Luo

in Geophysical Journal International

Volume 203, issue 3, pages 1773-1786
ISSN: 0956-540X
Published online October 2015 | e-ISSN: 1365-246X | DOI:

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A new approach based on energy conservation principle for satellite gravimetry mission has been developed and yields more accurate estimation of in situ geopotential difference observables using K-band ranging (KBR) measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) twin-satellite mission. This new approach preserves more gravity information sensed by KBR range-rate measurements and reduces orbit error as compared to previous energy balance methods. Results from analysis of 11 yr of GRACE data indicated that the resulting geopotential difference estimates agree well with predicted values from official Level 2 solutions: with much higher correlation at 0.9, as compared to 0.5–0.8 reported by previous published energy balance studies. We demonstrate that our approach produced a comparable time-variable gravity solution with the Level 2 solutions. The regional GRACE temporal gravity solutions over Greenland reveals that a substantially higher temporal resolution is achievable at 10-d sampling as compared to the official monthly solutions, but without the compromise of spatial resolution, nor the need to use regularization or post-processing.

Keywords: Satellite geodesy; Geopotential theory; Time variable gravity

Journal Article.  11703 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geodesy and Surveying for Maps and Charts