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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  12 Aug 2020

12 Aug 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

GOCO06s – A satellite-only global gravity field model

Andreas Kvas1, Jan Martin Brockmann2, Sandro Krauss1,5, Till Schubert2, Thomas Gruber3, Ulrich Meyer4, Torsten Mayer-Gürr1, Wolf-Dieter Schuh2, Adrian Jäggi4, and Roland Pail3 Andreas Kvas et al.
  • 1Institute of Geodesy, Graz University of Technology, Steyrergasse 30/III, 8010 Graz, Austria
  • 2Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn, Nußallee 17, 53115 Bonn, Germany
  • 3Astronomical and Physical Geodesy, Technical University of Munich, Arcisstraße 21, 80333 Munich, Germany
  • 4Astronomical Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 5Austrian Academy of Sciences, Space Research Institute, Schmiedlstraße 6, 8042 Graz, Austria

Abstract. GOCO06s is the latest satellite-only global gravity field model computed by the GOCO (Gravity Observation Combination) project. It is based on over a billion observations acquired over 15 years from 19 satellites with different complementary observation principles. This combination of different measurement techniques is key in providing consistent high-accuracy and best possible spatial resolution of the Earth's gravity field.

The motivation for the new release was in the availability of reprocessed observation data for GRACE and GOCE, updated background models, and substantial improvements in the processing chains of the individual contributions. Due to the long observation period, the model consists not only of a static gravity field, but comprises additionally modeled temporal variations. These are represented by time variable spherical harmonic coefficients, using a deterministic model for a regularized trend and annual oscillation.

The main focus within the GOCO combination process is on the proper handling of the stochastic behavior of the input data. Appropriate noise modelling for the used observations result in realistic accuracy information for the derived gravity field solution. This accuracy information, represented by the full variance-covariance matrix, is extremely useful for further combination with, for example, terrestrial gravity data and is published together with the solution.

The primary model data (Kvas et al., 2019b) consisting of potential coefficients representing Earth's static gravity field, together with secular and annual variations are available on International Centre for Global Earth Models (, last accessed 2020-06-11). This data set is identified with the DOI Supplementary material consisting of the full variance-covariance matrix of the static potential coefficients and estimated co-seismic mass changes are available on (last accessed 2020-06-11).

Andreas Kvas et al.

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The satellite-only gravity field model GOCO06s A. Kvas, T. Mayer-Gürr, S. Krauss, J. M. Brockmann, T. Schubert, W.-D. Schuh, R. Pail, T. Gruber, A. Jäggi, and U. Meyer

Andreas Kvas et al.


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Short summary
Earth's gravity field provides invaluable insights into the state and changing nature of our planet. GOCO06s combines over 1 billion measurements from 19 satellites to produce a global gravity field model. The combination of different observation principles allows us to exploit the strengths of each satellite mission and provide a high-quality data set for Earth and climate sciences.
Earth's gravity field provides invaluable insights into the state and changing nature of our...