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A comparison of GRACE-derived temporal gravity variations with observations of six European superconducting gravimeters



The GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite mission provides global time-series of the Earth's gravity field. In view of limited resolution and noise from the GRACE data, various filtering techniques have been developed to extract an optimal signal. There is no conclusion on the best filter method so far, however. On the other hand, terrestrial gravity observations from superconducting gravimeters (SGs) provide variations of the gravity field with very high accuracy and time resolution, but only at single points. The aim of this study is to compare GRACE-derived temporal gravity variations with gravity time-series within a network of six Central European SG stations. Empirical orthogonal functions (EOF) analysis was applied to detect common signal characteristics over a 3 yr period (2004–2006). rms Differences between the time-series of several GRACE solutions amount to 60 per cent of the rms variability of the individual data sets. The rms differences between the SG and GRACE time-series are about 70 per cent of the rms value of the SG observations. The best agreement between SG and GRACE is obtained when using a Gaussian filter with filter lengths of 800–1250 km for the GRACE data. With the EOF analysis, a common regional signal can be deduced from all gravity data sets. Nevertheless, differences in the first EOF among the GRACE solutions were up to 40 per cent, and differences of up to 50 per cent were found between the SG-based terrestrial and the GRACE-based satellite observations.

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