EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Eight years of temporal gravity changes observed by the Swarm satellites

Joao Teixeira da Encarnacao1, Daniel Arnold2, Ales Bezdek3, Christoph Dahle4, Junyi Guo5, Jose van den IJssel1, Adrian Jaeggi2, Jaroslav Klokocnik3, Sandro Krauss6, Torsten Mayer-Guerr6, Ulrich Meyer2, Josef Sebera3, Ck Shum5, Pieter Visser1, and Yu Zhang5
Joao Teixeira da Encarnacao et al.
  • 1Delft University of Technology, Space Engineering, Delft, Netherlands
  • 2Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 4GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • 5School of Earth Science of the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • 6Institute of Geodesy of the Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

The GPS data collected by the Swarm satellites form the basis for monthly global gravity field models that are complete and uninterrupted since late 2013, thus already covering a period of eight years. A nice aspect is that this time series covers the gap between the GRACE and GRACE-FO missions, as well as any other short gaps in their time series, with a spatial resolution of roughly 1500 km.

The Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern, the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Delft University of Technology, the Institute of Geodesy of the Graz University of Technology, and the School of Earth Sciences of the Ohio State University have teamed up to routinely provide these monthly models, with the support of the European Space Agency and the International Combination Servicefor Time-variable Gravity Fields (COST-G). The models are published every 3 months at ESA’s Swarm Data Access server ( as well at the International Centre for Global Earth Models ( Our gravity field models do not rely on any other source of gravimetric data nor any a priori information in for example the form of temporal and spatial correlations. The strength of our approach is that each institute exploits different gravity inversion strategies, thus producing independent solutions, which are combined at the solution level using weights derived with Variance Component Estimation.

Considering a reference parametric model derived from GRACE/GRACE-FO data, our models traditionally agree at the level of roughly 4 cm Equivalent Water Height (EWH). Since early 2020, developments in the processing of the kinematic orbits have improved this figure to 3 cm. A particularity of the Swarm gravity field models is that the deep ocean areas are ~30-50% noisier than land areas, with the underlying reason yet unknown. At the spatial resolution of Swarm, the time series of large water storage basins show a temporal correlation of 0.75 when compared with GRACE models, and their trends agree within 1 cm/year in terms of EWH.

How to cite: Teixeira da Encarnacao, J., Arnold, D., Bezdek, A., Dahle, C., Guo, J., van den IJssel, J., Jaeggi, A., Klokocnik, J., Krauss, S., Mayer-Guerr, T., Meyer, U., Sebera, J., Shum, C., Visser, P., and Zhang, Y.: Eight years of temporal gravity changes observed by the Swarm satellites, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11782,, 2022.


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