Sea-level fingerprints emergent from GRACE mission data

Adhikari, S., E. Ivins, T. Frederikse, F. Landerer, and L. Caron (2019), Sea-level fingerprints emergent from GRACE mission data, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 11, 629-646, doi:10.5194/essd-11-629-2019.

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission data have an important, if not revolutionary, impact on how scientists quantify the water transport on the Earth’s surface. The transport phenomena include land hydrology, physical oceanography, atmospheric moisture flux, and global cryospheric mass balance. The mass transport observed by the satellite system also includes solid Earth motions caused by, for example, great subduction zone earthquakes and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) processes. When coupled with altimetry, these space gravimetry data provide a powerful framework for studying climate-related changes on decadal timescales, such as ice mass loss and sea-level rise. As the changes in the latter are significant over the past two decades, there is a concomitant self-attraction and loading phenomenon generating ancillary changes in gravity, sea surface, and solid Earth deformation. These generate a finite signal in GRACE and ocean altimetry, and it may often be desirable to isolate and remove them for the purpose of understanding, for example, ocean circulation changes and post-seismic viscoelastic mantle flow, or GIA, occurring beneath the seafloor. Here we perform a systematic calculation of sea-level fingerprints of on-land water mass changes using monthly Release-06 GRACE Level-2 Stokes coefficients for the span April 2002 to August 2016, which result in a set of solutions for the timevarying geoid, sea-surface height, and vertical bedrock motion. We provide both spherical harmonic coefficients

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.