Geophysical Research Letters

The new ESA satellite-only gravity field model via the direct approach



[1] Reprocessed Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) gravity gradient data were combined with data from Laser Geodynamics Satellite (LAGEOS) 1/2 and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) to generate a satellite-only gravity field model to degree 260 using the direct approach, named DIR-R4. When compared to Earth Gravitational Model 2008 (EGM2008), it is more accurate at low to medium resolution thanks to GOCE and GRACE data. When compared to earlier releases of ESA GOCE models, it is more accurate at high degrees owing to the larger amount of data ingested. It is also slightly more accurate than ESA's fourth release of the time-wise model (TIM-R4), as demonstrated by GPS/leveling, orbit determination tests, and an oceanographic evaluation. According to the formal, probably too optimistic by a factor of 2–2.5, cumulated geoid (1.3 cm) and gravity anomaly (0.4 mGal) errors at 100 km resolution, the GOCE mission objectives have been reached.