Harmonic coefficients of the Earth’s Spectral Crustal Model 180 – ESCM180

Wenjin Chen, Robert Tenzer

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


We compile the harmonic coefficients, which describe the Earth’s crustal density structure with a spectral resolution complete to degree/order 180. These coefficients can be used in gravimetric studies of the Earth’s lithosphere structure, isostasy, crustal loading, sedimentary basins and related topics. The crustal structure of the Earth’s Spectral Crustal Model 180 (ESCM180) is separated into 9 individual layers of the topography, bathymetry, polar ice sheets, sediments (3-layers) and consolidated crust (3-layers). The harmonic coefficients describe uniformly the geometry and density (or density contrast) distribution within each individual crustal component. The topographic and bathymetric coefficients are generated from the topographic/bathymetric model ETOPO1 and the global geoid model GOCO03s. A uniform density model is adopted for the topography. The ocean density distribution is approximated by the depth-dependent seawater density model. The ETOPO1 topographic and the DTM2006.0 ice thickness data are used to generate the ice coefficients, while assuming a uniform density of the glacial ice. The geometry and density distribution within sediments is described by the 3 stratigraphic layers of a laterally varying density model, and the same structure is used to describe the density distribution within the consolidated crust down to the Moho interface. The sediment and consolidated crust coefficients are generated from the global crustal model CRUST1.0. The density contrasts of the ocean, ice, sediments and remaining crustal structures are taken relative to the reference crustal density.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages13
JournalEarth Science Informatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Crust
  • Density
  • Gravimetric forward modeling
  • Harmonic analysis
  • Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Harmonic coefficients of the Earth’s Spectral Crustal Model 180 – ESCM180'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this