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Open Access Publications from the University of California

What might grace contribute to studies of post glacial rebound?

  • Author(s): Wahr, J
  • Velicogna, I
  • et al.

The NASA/DLR satellite gravity mission GRACE, launched in March, 2002, will map the Earth's gravity field at scales of a few hundred km and greater, every 30 days for five years. These data can be used to solve for time-variations in the gravity field with unprecedented accuracy and resolution. One of the many scientific problems that can be addressed with these time-variable gravity estimates, is post glacial rebound (PGR): the viscous adjustment of the solid Earth in response to the deglaciation of the Earth's surface following the last ice age. In this paper we examine the expected sensitivity of the GRACE measurements to the PGR signal, and explore the accuracy with which the PGR signal can be separated from other secular gravity signals. We do this by constructing synthetic GRACE data that include contributions from a PGR model as well as from a number of other geophysical processes, and then looking to see how well the PGR model can be recovered from those synthetic data. We conclude that the availability of GRACE data should result in improved estimates of the Earth's viscosity profile.

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