Impact of satellite gravity missions on glaciology and Antarctic Earth sciences

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Satellite gravity missions in the 21st Century are expected to be beneficial to multi-disciplinary scientific objectives. Especially, the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) and its follow-on missions will provide not only data for precise gravity mapping but also time series of global gravity field coefficients at intervals of about 15 days to two months. These data are precise enough to reveal the temporal variations of the gravity fields due to mass redistribution in and on the Earth. From the viewpoint of Earth sciences in the Antarctic region, the data are expected to contribute to studies of ice sheet mass balance and postglacial rebound as well as other geodetic and geophysical problems. These issues have been mainly investigated based on the degree variance analyses of the gravity field so far. In this paper, we briefly review the gravity mission data from the viewpoint of along track geoid height variations which are more direct results of the mass variations, and then discuss some of the issues related to in-situ observations.


  • Polar meteorology and glaciology

    Polar meteorology and glaciology (16), 32-41, 2002-11


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