Monthly gravity field models derived from GRACE Level 1B data using a modified short-arc approach

Qiujie Chen, Yunzhong Shen, Xingfu Zhang, Houze Hsu, Wu Chen, Xiaolei Ju, Lizhi Lou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a new time series of Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) monthly solutions, complete to degree and order 60 spanning from January 2003 to August 2011, has been derived based on a modified short-arc approach. Our models entitled Tongji-GRACE01 are available on the website of International Centre for Global Earth Models ( The traditional short-arc approach, with no more than 1 h arcs, requires the gradient corrections of satellite orbits in order to reduce the impact of orbit errors on the final solution. Here the modified short-arc approach has been proposed, which has three major differences compared to the traditional one: (1) All the corrections of orbits and range rate measurements are solved together with the geopotential coefficients and the accelerometer biases using a weighted least squares adjustment; (2) the boundary position parameters are not required; and (3) the arc length can be extended to 2 h. The comparisons of geoid degree powers and the mass change signals in the Amazon basin, the Antarctic, and Antarctic Peninsula demonstrate that our model is comparable with the other existing models, i.e., the Centre for Space Research RL05, Jet Propulsion Laboratory RL05, and GeoForschungsZentrum RL05a models. The correlation coefficients of the mass change time series between our model and the other models are better than 0.9 in the Antarctic and Antarctic Peninsula. The mass change rates in the Antarctic and Antarctic Peninsula derived from our model are -92.7 ± 38.0 Gt/yr and -23.9 ± 12.4 Gt/yr, respectively, which are very close to those from other three models and with similar spatial patterns of signals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1804-1819
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • monthly gravity field model
  • satellite gravimetry
  • short-arc approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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