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Article

Introducing an Improved GRACE Global Point-Mass Solution—A Case Study in Antarctica

1
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2
School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 211100, China
3
Geodetic Institute, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
4
Astronomical Institute, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(19), 3197; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12193197
Received: 23 August 2020 / Revised: 19 September 2020 / Accepted: 25 September 2020 / Published: 30 September 2020
In the so-called point-mass modeling, surface densities are represented by point masses, providing only an approximated solution of the surface integral for the gravitational potential. Here, we propose a refinement for the point-mass modeling based on Taylor series expansion in which the zeroth-order approximation is equivalent to the point-mass solution. Simulations show that adding higher-order terms neglected in the point-mass modeling reduces the error of inverted mass changes of up to 90% on global and Antarctica scales. The method provides an alternative to the processing of the Level-2 data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission. While the evaluation of the surface densities based on improved point-mass modeling using ITSG-Grace2018 Level-2 data as observations reveals noise level of approximately 5.77 mm, this figure is 5.02, 6.05, and 5.81 mm for Center for Space Research (CSR), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) mascon solutions, respectively. Statistical tests demonstrate that the four solutions are not significant different (95% confidence) over Antarctica Ice Sheet (AIS), despite the slight differences seen in the noises. Therefore, the estimated noise level for the four solutions indicates the quality of GRACE mass changes over AIS. Overall, AIS shows a mass loss of −7.58 mm/year during 2003–2015 based on the improved point-mass solution, which agrees with the values derived from mascon solutions. View Full-Text
Keywords: GRACE; mascon; mass loss; point-mass modeling; regional inversion GRACE; mascon; mass loss; point-mass modeling; regional inversion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferreira, V.G.; Yong, B.; Seitz, K.; Heck, B.; Grombein, T. Introducing an Improved GRACE Global Point-Mass Solution—A Case Study in Antarctica. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 3197. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12193197

AMA Style

Ferreira VG, Yong B, Seitz K, Heck B, Grombein T. Introducing an Improved GRACE Global Point-Mass Solution—A Case Study in Antarctica. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(19):3197. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12193197

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ferreira, Vagner G., Bin Yong, Kurt Seitz, Bernhard Heck, and Thomas Grombein. 2020. "Introducing an Improved GRACE Global Point-Mass Solution—A Case Study in Antarctica" Remote Sensing 12, no. 19: 3197. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12193197

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