Improvement of downward continuation values of airborne gravity data in Taiwan

Qilong Zhao, Xinyu Xu*, René Forsberg, Gabriel Strykowski

*Corresponding author for this work

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An airborne gravity survey was carried out to fill gaps in the gravity data for the mountainous areas of Taiwan. However, the downward continuation error of airborne gravity data is a major issue, especially in regions with complex terrain, such as Taiwan. The root mean square (RMS) of the difference between the downward continuation values and land gravity was approximately 20 mGal. To improve the results of downward continuation we investigated the inverse Poisson's integral, the semi-parametric method combined with regularization (SPR) and the least-squares collocation (LSC) in this paper. The numerically simulated experiments are conducted in the Tibetan Plateau, which is also a mountainous area. The results show that as a valuable supplement to the inverse Poisson's integral, the SPR is a useful approach to estimate systematic errors and to suppress random errors. While the LSC approach generates the best results in the Tibetan Plateau in terms of the RMS of the downward continuation errors. Thus, the LSC approach with a terrain correction (TC) is applied to the downward continuation of real airborne gravity data in Taiwan. The statistical results show that the RMS of the differences between the downward continuation values and land gravity data reduced to 11.7 mGal, which shows that an improvement of 40% is obtained.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1951
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number12
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Airborne gravity
  • Downward continuation
  • Least-squares collocation
  • Taiwan
  • Tibetan plateau
  • Terrain correction

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