Coastal gravity field refinement by combining airborne and ground-based data

Yihao Wu*, A. Abulaitijiang, W. E. Featherstone, J. C. McCubbine, O. B. Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Gravity field modelling in coastal region faces challenges due to the degradation of the quality of altimeter data and poor coverage of gravimetric measurements. Airborne gravimetry can provide seamless measurements both onshore and offshore with uniform accuracies, which may alleviate the coastal zone problem. We study the role of airborne data for gravity field recovery in a coastal region and the possibility to validate coastal gravity field model against recent altimetry data (CryoSat-2, Jason-1, and SARAL/Altika). Moreover, we combine airborne and ground-based gravity data for regional refinement and quantify and validate the contribution introduced by airborne data. Numerical experiments in the Gippsland Basin over the south-eastern coast of Australia show that the effects introduced by airborne gravity data appear as small-scale patterns on the centimetre scale in terms of quasi-geoid heights. Numerical results demonstrate that the combination of airborne data improves the coastal gravity field, and the recent altimetry data can be potentially used to validate the high-frequency signals introduced by airborne data. The validation against recent altimetry data demonstrates that the combination of airborne measurements improves the coastal quasi-geoid, by similar to 5 mm, compared with a model computed from terrestrial and altimetry-derived gravity anomalies alone. These results show that the recently released altimetry data with relatively denser spatial resolutions and higher accuracies than older altimeter data may be beneficial for gravity field model assessment in coastal areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Geodesy
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)2569-2584
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Coastal gravity field modelling
    • Airborne gravimetry
    • Jason-1
    • CryoSat-2
    • SARAL/Altika data


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