Regional gravity variations in Europe from superconducting gravimeters

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Recent satellite missions (CHAMP, GRACE) are now returning data on the time variation of the gravity field with harmonic coefficients computed every 4 weeks. The promise is to achieve a sub-microgal accuracy that will define continental mass variations involving large-scale hydrology. With this in mind, we examine the time varying gravity field over central Europe using a limited number of high quality ground-based superconducting gravimeter stations within the Global Geodynamics Project (GGP). Our purpose is to see whether there are coherent signals between the individual stations and to compare the regional component with that predicted from models of continental hydrology. The results are encouraging. We have found, using empirical orthogonal eigenfunctions of the gravity data that a clear annual signal is present that is consistent in phase (low amplitudes in summer) and amplitude (1-3 microgal) with that determined from a large-scale model of land water in connection with global climate modeling. More work is required to define how the gravity field is related to large-scale soil moisture and other mass variations, and we have yet to compare our results to the latest satellite-derived data. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Crossley, D., Hinderer, J., & Boy, J. P. (2004). Regional gravity variations in Europe from superconducting gravimeters. Journal of Geodynamics, 38(3-5 SPEC.ISS.), 325–342.

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