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Open AccessArticle

Improved Estimates of Geocenter Variability from Time-Variable Gravity and Ocean Model Outputs

by Tyler C. Sutterley 1,2,*,† and Isabella Velicogna 2,3
1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
2
Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
3
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(18), 2108; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11182108
Received: 7 August 2019 / Revised: 3 September 2019 / Accepted: 4 September 2019 / Published: 10 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing by Satellite Gravimetry)
Geocenter variations relate the motion of the Earth’s center of mass with respect to its center of figure, and represent global-scale redistributions of the Earth’s mass. We investigate different techniques for estimating of geocenter motion from combinations of time-variable gravity measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE Follow-On missions, and bottom pressure outputs from ocean models. Here, we provide self-consistent estimates of geocenter variability incorporating the effects of self-attraction and loading, and investigate the effect of uncertainties in atmospheric and oceanic variation. The effects of self-attraction and loading from changes in land water storage and ice mass change affect both the seasonality and long-term trend in geocenter position. Omitting the redistribution of sea level affects the average annual amplitudes of the x, y, and z components by 0.2, 0.1, and 0.3 mm, respectively, and affects geocenter trend estimates by 0.02, 0.04 and 0.05 mm/yr for the the x, y, and z components, respectively. Geocenter estimates from the GRACE Follow-On mission are consistent with estimates from the original GRACE mission. View Full-Text
Keywords: GRACE; GRACE-FO; time-variable gravity; geocenter; reference frames; self-attraction and loading GRACE; GRACE-FO; time-variable gravity; geocenter; reference frames; self-attraction and loading
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Sutterley, T.C.; Velicogna, I. Improved Estimates of Geocenter Variability from Time-Variable Gravity and Ocean Model Outputs. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2108.

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