Comparison and evaluation of high-resolution marine gravity recovery via sea surface heights or sea surface slopes

Shengjun Zhang*, Adili Abulaitijiang, Ole Baltazar Andersen, David T. Sandwell, James R. Beale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

There are two dominating approaches of modeling the marine gravity field based on satellite altimetry observations. In this study, the marine gravity field is determined in four selected areas (Northwestern Atlantic, Hawaii ocean area, Mariana Trench area, and Aegean Sea) by using exact same input datasets but different methods which are based on sea surface height (SSH) and sea surface slope (SSS), respectively. The impact of the methodology is evaluated by conducting validations with shipborne gravity observation. The CryoSat-2, Jason-1/2, and SARAL/Altika geodetic mission data (similarly 3-year-long time series) are firstly retracked by the two-pass retracker. After that, the obtained SSHs are used for the derivation of geoid undulations and vertical deflections, and then for the resulting marine gravity field separately. The validation results indicate that the SSH-based method has advantages in robustly estimating marine gravity anomalies near the coastal zone. The SSS-based method has advantages over regions with intermedium ocean depths (2000–4000 m) where seamounts and ridges are found, but obvious disadvantages when the ocean currents flow along the north–south direction (e.g., western boundary currents) or the topography features north–south directional trenches. In the deep ocean where the seafloor topography is plain and smooth, the two methods have similar accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
JournalJournal of Geodesy
Volume95
Issue number6
Number of pages17
ISSN0949-7714
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Geoid undulation
  • Marine gravity anomaly
  • Satellite altimetry
  • Vertical deflection

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