Assessment of Earth Gravity Field Models in the Medium to High Frequency Spectrum Based on GRACE and GOCE Dynamic Orbit Analysis

Thomas Papanikolaou, Dimitrios Tsoulis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


An analysis of current static and time-variable gravity field models is presented focusing on the medium to high frequencies of the geopotential as expressed by the spherical harmonic coefficients. A validation scheme of the gravity field models is implemented based on dynamic orbit determination that is applied in a degree-wise cumulative sense of the individual spherical harmonics. The approach is applied to real data of the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation (GOCE) and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite missions, as well as to GRACE inter-satellite K-band ranging (KBR) data. Since the proposed scheme aims at capturing gravitational discrepancies, we consider a few deterministic empirical parameters in order to avoid absorbing part of the gravity signal that may be included in the monitored orbit residuals. The present contribution aims at a band-limited analysis for identifying characteristic degree ranges and thresholds of the various GRACE- and GOCE-based gravity field models. The degree range 100–180 is investigated based on the degree-wise cumulative approach. The identified degree thresholds have values of 130 and 160 based on the GRACE KBR data and the GOCE orbit analysis, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeosciences Journal
Issue number12
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Cite this