Comparison of Techniques for the Computation of a Height Reference Surface from Gravity and GPS-Levelling Data

Robert Tenzer, R. Klees, I. Prutkin, T. Wittwer, B. Alberts, U. Schirmer, J. Ihde, G. Liebsch, U. Schäfer

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Three different techniques for quasigeoid modelling from gravity and GPS-levelling data are compared: (i) a penalized least-squares technique using spherical radial basis functions provides a gravimetric quasigeoid solution; the combination with GPS-levelling data is formulated as the solution of a Cauchy boundary-value problem for the Laplace operator. This solution when added to gravimetric solution yields the final quasigeoid; (ii) a direct least-squares solution using gravimetric and GPS-levelling data as observations and point masses as parameterization of the disturbing potential. The inconsistency between GPS-levelling data and gravimetric data is treated assigning high weights to GPS-levelling data in the least-squares adjustment; (iii) a least-squares collocation technique for computing a gravimetric quasigeoid. The combination with GPS-levelling data is realized using a low-degree polynomial corrector surface estimated from the differences between gravimetric height anomalies and height anomalies from GPS-levelling data. The three methods are compared using real data for an area in Germany. The results reveal a very similar performance of these methods if gravity data and GPS-levelling data are combined, whereas gravimetric quasi-geoid solutions differ significantly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationObserving our Changing Earth - Proceedings of the 2007 IAG General Assembly
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event24th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, IUGG 2007 - Perugia, Italy
Duration: 2 Jul 200713 Jul 2007


Conference24th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, IUGG 2007


  • Corrector surface
  • GPS-levelling
  • Least-squares collocation
  • Quasigeoid
  • Spherical radial basis functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Geophysics

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