L. E. Sjöberg, A. Gidudu, R. Ssengendo
May 12, 2015
For many developing countries such as Uganda, precise gravimetric geoid determination is hindered by the low quantity and quality of the terrestrial gravity data. With only one gravity data point per 65 km2, gravimetric geoid determination in Uganda appears an impossible task. However, recent advances in geoid modelling techniques coupled with the gravity-field anomalies from the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite mission have opened new avenues for geoid determination especially for areas with sparse terrestrial gravity. The present study therefore investigates the computation of a gravimetric geoid model overUganda (UGG2014) using the Least Squares Modification of Stokes formula with additive corrections. UGG2014 was derived from sparse terrestrial gravity data from the International Gravimetric Bureau, the 3 arc second SRTM ver4.1 Digital Elevation Model from CGIAR-CSI and the GOCE-only global geopotential model GO_CONS_GCF_2_TIM_R5. To compensate for the missing gravity data in the target area, we used the surface gravity anomalies extracted from the World Gravity Map 2012. Using 10 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)/levelling data points distributed over Uganda, the RMS fit of the gravimetric geoid model before and after a 4-parameter fit is 11 cm and 7 cm respectively. These results show that UGG2014 agrees considerably better with GNSS/levelling than any other recent regional/ global gravimetric geoid model. The results also emphasize the significant contribution of the GOCE satellite mission to the gravity field recovery, especially for areas with very limited terrestrial gravity data.With an RMS of 7 cm, UGG2014 is a significant step forward in the modelling of a “1-cm geoid” over Uganda despite the poor quality and quantity of the terrestrial gravity data used for its computation.