Combination of GRACE monthly gravity field solutions from different processing strategies

Jean, Yoomin; Meyer, Ulrich; Jäggi, Adrian (2018). Combination of GRACE monthly gravity field solutions from different processing strategies. Journal of geodesy, 92(11), pp. 1313-1328. Springer 10.1007/s00190-018-1123-5

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We combine the publicly available GRACE monthly gravity field time series to produce gravity fields with reduced systematic errors. We first compare the monthly gravity fields in the spatial domain in terms of signal and noise. Then, we combine the individual gravity fields with comparable signal content, but diverse noise characteristics. We test five different weighting schemes: equal weights, non-iterative coefficient-wise, order-wise, or field-wise weights, and iterative field-wise weights applying variance component estimation (VCE). The combined solutions are evaluated in terms of signal and noise in the spectral and spatial domains. Compared to the individual contributions, they in general show lower noise. In case the noise characteristics of the individual solutions differ significantly, the weighted means are less noisy, compared to the arithmetic mean: The non-seasonal variability over the oceans is reduced by up to 7.7% and the root mean square (RMS) of the residuals of mass change estimates within Antarctic drainage basins is reduced by 18.1% on average. The field-wise weighting schemes in general show better performance, compared to the order- or coefficient-wise weighting schemes. The combination of the full set of considered time series results in lower noise levels, compared to the combination of a subset consisting of the official GRACE Science Data System gravity fields only: The RMS of coefficient-wise anomalies is smaller by up to 22.4% and the non-seasonal variability over the oceans by 25.4%. This study was performed in the frame of the European Gravity Service for Improved Emergency Management (EGSIEM; project. The gravity fields provided by the EGSIEM scientific combination service ( are combined, based on the weights derived by VCE as described in this article.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Jean, Yoomin, Meyer, Ulrich, Jäggi, Adrian


500 Science > 520 Astronomy








Pierre Fridez

Date Deposited:

07 May 2018 13:50

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:12

Publisher DOI:





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