ITSG‐Grace2018: Overview and evaluation of a new GRACE‐only gravity field time series

Andreas Kvas, Saniya Behzadpour, Matthias Ellmer, Beate Klinger, Sebastian Strasser, Norbert Zehentner, Torsten Mayer-Gürr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ITSG‐Grace2018 is a new series of GRACE‐only gravity field solutions based on reprocessed GRACE observation data (L1B RL03) and the latest atmosphere and ocean dealiasing product (AOD1B RL06). It includes unconstrained monthly and constrained daily solutions, as well as a high‐resolution static gravity field. Compared to the previous ITSG release, we implemented a number of improvements within the processing chain and use updated background models. In an effort to better model all known error sources, we propagate synthetic orientation uncertainties of the star camera assembly to the antenna offset correction for inter‐satellite ranging observations. This enables the disentanglement of the stationary noise of the K‐Band system and the non‐stationary noise of the antenna offset correction. We further incorporated uncertainties of the atmosphere and ocean dealiasing product to reduce temporal aliasing effects. To mitigate errors in the applied ocean tide model, we used constrained GRACE estimates of selected tidal constituents as an additional background model.

Variability over quiet ocean areas suggests a 27% to 46% lower noise level compared to the current spherical harmonic solutions of the official processing centers (300 km Gaussian filter applied). To ensure that the low noise floor is not accompanied by signal loss, we examined drainage basin averages, which showed consistent amplitudes with the official GRACE time series. These evaluations lead to the conclusion that ITSG‐Grace2018 is a state‐of‐the‐art GRACE time series which exhibits an excellent signal‐to‐noise ratio.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2019


  • monthly solutions
  • intercomparison


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