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  • Author: Mehdi Eshagh x
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Spherical Harmonics Expansion of the Atmospheric Gravitational Potential Based on Exponential and Power Models of Atmosphere

Spherical harmonic formulation of gravitational potential of the atmosphere depends on the analytical model of the atmospheric density which is used. Exponential and power models are two well-known mathematical tools which are used in atmospheric applications. This paper presents simple formulas for the harmonic coefficients of internal and external types of the atmospheric potential based on these models which can be used in most of the gravimetric aspects. It considers the atmospheric effect on the satellite gravity gradiometry data as an example for numerical investigations. The numerical studies on these data show that the maximum atmospheric effect is about 2 mE over Fennoscandia based on both models, and their differences are less than 0.1 mE. The difference between indirect atmospheric effects reaches 2 cm and 0.02 mGal on the geoid and gravity anomaly, respectively in this region.


Gravity and topographic/bathymetric data are used for gravimetric modelling of Moho discontinuity by hydrostatic or flexural theories of the isostasy. Here, two hydrostatic models, based on the Vening Meinesz-Moritz (VMM) principle, and two based on the loading theories and flexural isostasy are compared over Tibet Plateau. It is shown that theMoho models generated based on theVMM theory and flexural isostasy have very good agreements if the mean compensation depth and the mean elastic thickness are selected properly. However, the model computed based on the flexural isostasy is smoother. A more rigorous flexural model, which considers the membrane stress and curvature of the lithosphere, is used to model the Moho surface over the study area. It is shown that the difference between the Moho models, derived by considering and ignoring these parameters, is not significant. By combination of the flexural and VMM hydrostatic models new mathematical formulae for crustal gravity anomalies are provided and it is shown that the crustal gravity anomalies produced by them are also equivalent.


Different gravitational force models are used for determining the satellites’ orbits. The satellite gravity gradiometry (SGG) data contain this gravitational information and the satellite accelerations can be determined from them. In this study, we present that amongst the elements of the gravitational tensor in the local north-oriented frame, all of the elements are suitable for this purpose except Txy. Three integral formulae with the same kernel function are presented for recovering the accelerations from the SGG data. The kernel of these integrals is well-behaving which means that the contribution of the far-zone data is not very significant to their integration results; but this contribution is also dependent on the type of the data being integrated. Our numerical studies show that the standard deviations of the differences between the accelerations recovered from Tzz, Txz and Tzy and those computed by an existing Earth´s gravity model reduce by increasing the cap size of integration. However, their root mean squared errors increase for recovering Ty from Tyz. Larger cap sizes than 5 on is recommended for recovering Tx and Tz but smaller ones for Ty.


The NKG2015 geoid model covers the Nordic and Baltic countries and has been computed based on the least-squares modification of Stokes’ formula with additive corrections method. New and precise terrestrial, airborne and shipborne gravimetric measurements, the recent global gravity model of the gravity field and steady-state ocean circulation explorer (GOCE) and detailed digital terrain models over each territory have been used for computing this new geoid model. Some estimates for the error of this model have been roughly presented by comparing it with the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data over each country. In this paper, our goal is to have a closer look at the relative error of this model by performing some statistical tests and finding the proper corrective surface for absorbing the systematic errors over each country. Our main assumption is realisticity of the errors of GNSS/levelling data and we will investigate its consequences in estimating the error of the geoid model. Our results show that the 4-parameter corrective surface is suitable for modelling the systematic trends of the differences between the gravimetric and GNSS geoid heights in Sweden, Denmark and Finland, but a filtered discrepancies by a confidence interval of 95% should be used for Sweden. A 7-aparameter model is suitable for the filtered discrepancies with the confidence interval of 95% in Norway. Based on the selected corrective surface and our newly developed regional iterative variance estimator, the confidence interval for the error of NKG2015 geoid model in Sweden, Denmark and Norway yielded 0-6.5 mm, 1.8-5.2 mm, 14.8-17.7 mm, respectively with a confidence level of 95%. We could not estimate the geoid error in Finland because the given error of the GNSS/levelling heights is significantly larger than the size of residuals. Based on the selected corrective surfaces and our presented local variance estimator, the average error of geoid becomes 3.6, 2.4, 8.8 and 5.8 mm with a confidence interval of 68%, respectively, over Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.


Monitoring deformation of man-made structures is very important to prevent them from a risk of collapse and save lives. Such a process is also used for monitoring change in historical objects, which are deforming continuously with time. An example of this is the Vasa warship, which was under water for about 300 years. The ship was raised from the bottom of the sea and is kept in the Vasa museum in Stockholm. A geodetic network with points on the museum building and the ship’s body has been established and measured for 12 years for monitoring the ship’s deformation. The coordinate time series of each point on the ship and their uncertainties have been estimated epoch-wisely. In this paper, our goal is to statistically analyse the ship’s hull movements. By fitting a quadratic polynomial to the coordinate time series of each point of the hull, its acceleration and velocity are estimated. In addition, their significance is tested by comparing them with their respective estimated errors after the fitting. Our numerical investigations show that the backside of the ship, having highest elevation and slope, has moved vertically faster than the other places by a velocity and an acceleration of about 2 mm/year and 0.1 mm/year2, respectively and this part of the ship is the weakest with a higher risk of collapse. The central parts of the ship are more stable as the ship hull is almost vertical and closer to the floor. Generally, the hull is moving towards its port and downwards


The tensor of gravitation is traceless as the gravitational field of the Earth is harmonic outside the Earth’s surface. Therefore, summation of the 2nd-order horizontal derivatives on its diagonal components should be equal to the radial one but with the opposite sign. The gravity field can be recovered locally from either of them, or even their combination. Here, we use the in-orbit diagonal components of the gravitational tensor measured by the gravity field and steady state ocean circulation explorer (GOCE) mission for recovering gravity anomaly with a resolution of 1°×1° at sea level in Ethiopia. In order to solve the system of equations, derived after discretisation of integral equations, the Tikhonov regularisation is applied and the bias of this regularisation is estimated and removed from the estimated gravity anomalies. The errors of the anomalies are estimated and their significance of recovery from these diagonal components is investigated. Statistically, the difference between the recovered anomalies from each scenario is not significant comparing to their errors. However, their joint inversion of the diagonal components improved the solution by about 1 mGal. Furthermore, the inversion processes are better stabilised when using errors of the input data compared with its exclusion, but at the penalty of degradation in accuracy of the estimates.


An optimal design of a geodetic network can fulfill the requested precision and reliability of the network, and decrease the expenses of its execution by removing unnecessary observations. The role of an optimal design is highlighted in deformation monitoring network due to the repeatability of these networks. The core design problem is how to define precision and reliability criteria. This paper proposes a solution, where the precision criterion is defined based on the precision of deformation parameters, i. e. precision of strain and differential rotations. A strain analysis can be performed to obtain some information about the possible deformation of a deformable object. In this study, we split an area into a number of three-dimensional finite elements with the help of the Delaunay triangulation and performed the strain analysis on each element. According to the obtained precision of deformation parameters in each element, the precision criterion of displacement detection at each network point is then determined. The developed criterion is implemented to optimize the observations from the Global Positioning System (GPS) in Skåne monitoring network in Sweden. The network was established in 1989 and straddled the Tornquist zone, which is one of the most active faults in southern Sweden. The numerical results show that 17 out of all 21 possible GPS baseline observations are sufficient to detect minimum 3 mm displacement at each network point.