Ocean tides in GRACE monthly averaged gravity fields

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The GRACE mission will map the Earth's gravity fields and its variations with unprecedented accuracy during its 5-year lifetime. Unless ocean tide signals and their load upon the solid earth are removed from the GRACE data, their long period aliases obscure more subtle climate signals which GRACE aims at. In this analysis the results of Knudsen and Andersen (2002) have been verified using actual post-launch orbit parameter of the GRACE mission. The current ocean tide models are not accurate enough to correct GRACE data at harmonic degrees lower than 47. The accumulated tidal errors may affect the GRACE data up to harmonic degree 60. A study of the revised alias frequencies confirm that the ocean tide errors will not cancel in the GRACE monthly averaged temporal gravity fields. The S-2 and the K-2 terms have alias frequencies much longer than 30 days, so they remain almost unreduced in the monthly averages. Those results have been verified using a simulated 30 days GRACE orbit. The results show that the magnitudes of the monthly averaged values are slightly higher than the previous values. This may be caused by insufficient sampling to fully resolve and reduce the tidal signals at short wavelengths and close to the poles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)261-270
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • GRACE satellite mission
  • ocean tides
  • gravity


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