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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-40
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-40
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 03 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 03 Sep 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).

A global empirical GIA model based on GRACE data

Yu Sun1 and Riccardo E. M. Riva2 Yu Sun and Riccardo E. M. Riva
  • 1Key Laboratory of Data Mining and Sharing of Ministration of Education, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China
  • 2Dept. of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands

Abstract. The effect of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) on the shape and gravity of the Earth is usually described by numerical models that simultaneously solve for glacial evolution and Earth's rheology, being mainly constrained by the geological evidence of local ice extent and global sea level, as well as by geodetic observations of Earth's rotation.

In recent years, GPS and GRACE observations have often been used to improve those models, especially in the context of regional studies. However, consistency issues between different regional models limit their ability to answer questions from global scale geodesy. Examples are the closure of the sea level budget, the explanation of observed changes in Earth's rotation, and the determination of the origin of the Earth's reference frame.

Here, we present a global empirical model of present-day GIA, solely based on GRACE data and on geoid fingerprints of mass redistribution. We will show how the use of observations from a single space-borne platform, together with GIA fingerprints based on different viscosity profiles, allows us to tackle the questions from global scale geodesy mentioned above. We find that, in the GRACE era (2003–2016), freshwater exchange between land and oceans has caused global mean sea level to rise by 1.5 ± 0.3 mm/yr, the geocentre to move by 0.5 mm/yr, and the Earth's dynamic oblateness (J2) to increase by 6.7 × 10−11/yr.

Yu Sun and Riccardo E. M. Riva
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Yu Sun and Riccardo E. M. Riva
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Data underlying the figures presented in the paper: A global empirical GIA model based on GRACE data. Y. Sun and R. Riva https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:44326654-8dae-42df-adbd-d0f145581353

Yu Sun and Riccardo E. M. Riva
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Short summary
The Solid Earth is still deforming because of the effect of past ice sheets, through the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) process. Satellite gravity observations by the GRACE mission are sensitive to those signals. However, they are superimposed to the effect of the redistribution of water masses by the hydrological cycle. We propose a method to separate the two signals that provides new constraints for forward GIA models and estimates the patterns and magnitudes of the global water cycle.
The Solid Earth is still deforming because of the effect of past ice sheets, through the Glacial...
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