Applications and Challenges of GRACE and GRACE Follow-On Satellite Gravimetry

Type Article
Date 2022-02
Language English
Author(s) Chen JianliORCID1, Cazenave Anny2, 7, Dahle Christoph3, Llovel William4, Panet Isabelle5, Pfeffer Julia6, Moreira Lorena7
Affiliation(s) 1 : Center for Space Research, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 78759, USA
2 : Legos/CNES, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400, Toulouse, France
3 : GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, 14473, Potsdam, Germany
4 : LOPS, University of Brest/IFREMER/IRD/CNRS, 29280, Brest, France
5 : Université de Paris, IPGP/CNRS/IGN, 75005, Paris, France
6 : Magellium, 31520, Ramonville Saint-Agne, France
7 : International Space Science Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012, Bern, Switzerland
Source Surveys In Geophysics (0169-3298) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2022-02 , Vol. 43 , N. 1 , P. 305-345
DOI 10.1007/s10712-021-09685-x
WOS© Times Cited 45
Keyword(s) GRACE, GRACE-FO, Satellite gravimetry, Gravity, Mass change, Application, Challenge

Time-variable gravity measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE Follow-On (GRACE-FO) missions have opened up a new avenue of opportunities for studying large-scale mass redistribution and transport in the Earth system. Over the past 19 years, GRACE/GRACE-FO time-variable gravity measurements have been widely used to study mass variations in different components of the Earth system, including the hydrosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and solid Earth, and significantly improved our understanding of long-term variability of the climate system. We carry out a comprehensive review of GRACE/GRACE-FO satellite gravimetry, time-variable gravity fields, data processing methods, and major applications in several different fields, including terrestrial water storage change, global ocean mass variation, ice sheets and glaciers mass balance, and deformation of the solid Earth. We discuss in detail several major challenges we need to face when using GRACE/GRACE-FO time-variable gravity measurements to study mass changes, and how we should address them. We also discuss the potential of satellite gravimetry in detecting gravitational changes that are believed to originate from the deep Earth. The extended record of GRACE/GRACE-FO gravity series, with expected continuous improvements in the coming years, will lead to a broader range of applications and improve our understanding of both climate change and the Earth system.

Article Highlights

A comprehensive review of major applications of GRACE/GRACE-FO satellite gravimetry

Discussions in detail of some major challenges in GRACE/GRACE-FO mass change estimation

Discussions of the potential detection of deep Earth signals by GRACE/GRACE-FO gravimetry

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