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Time Changes of the European Gravity Field from GRACE: A Comparison with Ground Measurements from Superconducting Gravimeters and with Hydrology Model PredictionsWe investigate the time-variable gravity changes in Europe retrieved from the initial GRACE monthly solutions spanning a 18 month duration from April 2002 to October 2003. Gravity anomaly maps are retrieved in Central Europe from the monthly satellite solutions we compare the fields according to various truncation levels (typically between degree 10 and 20) of the initial fields (expressed in spherical harmonics to degree 120). For these different degrees, an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) decomposition of the time-variable gravity field leads us to its main spatial and temporal characteristics. We show that the dominant signal is found to be annual with an amplitude and a phase both in agreement with predictions in Europe modeled using snow and soil-moisture variations from recent hydrology models. We compare these GRACE gravity field changes to surface gravity observations from 6 superconducting gravimeters of the GGP (Global Geodynamics Project) European sub-network, with a special attention to loading corrections. Initial results suggest that all 3 data sets (GRACE, hydrology and GGP) are responding to annual changes in near-surface water in Europe of a few microGal (at length scales of approx.1000 km) that show a high value in winter and a summer minimum. We also point out that the GRACE gravity field evolution seems to indicate that there is a trend in gravity between summer 2002 and summer 2003 which can be related to the 2003 heatwave in Europe and its hydrological consequences (drought). Despite the limited time span of our analysis and the uncertainties in retrieving a regional solution from the network of gravimeters, the calibration and validation aspects of the GRACE data processing based on the annual hydrology cycle in Europe are in progress.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hinderer, J. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Lemoine, Frank G. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Crossley, D. (Saint Louis Univ. MO, United States)
Boy, J.-P. (Institut de Physique du Globe Strasbourg, France)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Meeting Information
Joint CHAMP/GRACE Science Meeting(Potsdam)
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