Effect of Crustal Density Structures on GOCE Gravity Gradient Observables

  • Author(s): Robert Tenzer and Pavel Novák
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2013.05.08.01(T)
  • Keywords: Crust, Forward modeling, GOCE, Gravity Gradiometry, Mantle

We investigate the gravity gradient components corrected for major known anomalous density structures within the Earth's crust. Heterogeneous mantle density structures are disregarded. The gravimetric forward modeling technique is utilized to compute the gravity gradients based on methods for a spherical harmonic analysis and synthesis of a gravity field. The Earth¡¦s gravity gradient components are generated using the global geopotential model GOCO-03s. The topographic and stripping gravity corrections due to the density contrasts of the ocean and ice are computed from the global topographic/bathymetric model DTM2006.0 (which also includes the ice-thickness dataset). The discrete data of sediments and crust layers taken from the CRUST2.0 global crustal model are then used to apply the additional stripping corrections for sediments and remaining anomalous crustal density structures. All computations are realized globally on a one arc-deg geographical grid at a mean satellite elevation of 255 km. The global map of the consolidated crust-stripped gravity gradients reveals distinctive features which are attributed to global tectonics, lithospheric plate configuration, lithosphere structure and mantle dynamics (e.g., glacial isostatic adjustment, mantle convection). The Moho signature, which is the most pronounced signal in these refined gravity gradients, is superimposed over a weaker gravity signal of the lithospheric mantle. An interpretational quality of the computed (refined) gravity gradient components is mainly limited by a low accuracy and resolution of the CRUST2.0 sediment and crustal layer data and unmodeled mantle structures.

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