Evaluation of GOCE-based global gravity field models over Japan after the full mission using free-air gravity anomalies and geoid undulations

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Earth Planets Space

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University of Cape Town

The performance of Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) global gravity field models (GGMs), at the end of GOCE mission covering 42 months, is evaluated using geoid undulations and free-air gravity anomalies over Japan, including six sub-regions (Hokkaido, north Honshu, central Honshu, west Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu). Seventeen GOCE-based GGMs are evaluated and compared with EGM2008. The evaluations are carried out at 150, 180, 210, 240 and 270 spherical harmonics degrees. Results show that EGM2008 performs better than GOCE and related GGMs in Japan and three sub-regions (Hokkaido, central Honshu and Kyushu). However, GOCE and related GGMs perform better than EGM2008 in north Honshu, west Honshu and Shikoku up to degree 240. This means that GOCE data can improve geoid model over half of Japan. The improvement is only evident between degrees 150 and 240 beyond which EGM2008 performs better than GOCE GGMs in all the six regions. In general, the latest GOCE GGMs (releases 4 and 5) perform better than the earlier GOCE GGMs (releases 1, 2 and 3), indicating the contribution of data collected by GOCE in the last months before the mission ended on 11 November 2013. The results indicate that a more accurate geoid model over Japan is achievable, based on a combination of GOCE, EGM2008 and terrestrial gravity data sets.