Measured and modelled absolute gravity changes in Greenland

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    In glaciated areas, the Earth is responding to the ongoing changes of the ice sheets, a response knownas glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). GIA can be investigated through observations of gravity change.For the ongoing assessment of the ice sheets mass balance, where satellite data are used, the study ofGIA is important since it acts as an error source. GIA consists of three signals as seen by a gravimeter onthe surface of the Earth. These signals are investigated in this study. The ICE-5G ice history and recentlydeveloped ice models of present day changes are used to model the gravity change in Greenland. Theresult is compared with the initial measurements of absolute gravity (AG) change at selected GreenlandNetwork (GNET) sites.We find that observations are highly influenced by the direct attraction from the ice and ocean. Thisis especially evident in the measurements conducted at the GNET station near the Helheim Glacier.The effect of the direct attraction diminishes at sites that are more than one degree from the source.Here, the dominant signal is the effect of the elastic signal from present day ice mass changes. We findagreement between the measured and modelled gravity changes at all but one site. This agreement onlyholds when the direct attraction is considered. For one site, there is no agreement, indicating that someimprovements to the modelling results or the processing of the gravity data are needed. In addition, moreAG measurements are needed to strengthen the time series of gravity change.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Geodynamics
    Pages (from-to)53-59
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Greenland
    • Absolute gravimetry
    • Gravity change
    • Modelled gravity


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