Australian quasigeoid modelling: Review, current status and future plans

  • Author(s): Jack C. McCubbine, Will E. Featherstone, and Nicholas J. Brown
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2021.08.10.01
  • Keywords: Australia Quasigeoid Geoid Gravity
  • Citation: McCubbine, J. C., W. E. Featherstone, and N. J. Brown, 2021: Australian quasigeoid modelling: Review, current status and future plans. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 32, 829-845, doi: 10.3319/TAO.2021.08.10.01
  • We review the history of quasi/geoid modelling in Australia, from the first model produced in 1967 to the most recent AGQG2017
  • The results of more than 10,000 trial quasigeoid solutions are presented, computed to assess whether methods used to produce AGQG2017 could be improved
  • Details of a new Australian vertical reference system, and future planned efforts to improve the underlying quasigeoid model are given

We provide a historical review and critique of regional geoid and quasigeoid modelling over the Australian continent, covering the earliest models from the late 1960s through to the present day and beyond. The most recently released official model for GPS/GNSS surveyors, AUSGeoid2020, was specifically calculated to enable them to determine Australian Height Datum heights from Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 ellipsoidal heights in a more direct manner without the need for postsurveying adjustments. We summarise the deficiencies in the Australian Height Datum and how they are now being addressed by a proposed new vertical height system that is underpinned by a gravimetric-only quasigeoid model. We also summarise the results of some experiments that we have conducted to explore potential refinements that could be made to our computational processes, and future plans to acquire gravity data in the problematic coastal zones using airborne methods.

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