The summary of research activities concerning gravity field modelling and gravimetric works performed in Poland in the period of 2011–2014 is presented. It contains the results of research on geoid modelling in Poland and other countries, evaluation of global geopotential models, determination of temporal variations of the gravity field with the use of data from satellite gravity space missions, absolute gravity surveys for the maintenance and modernization of the gravity control in Poland and overseas, metrological aspects in gravimetry, maintenance of gravimetric calibration baselines, and investigations of the non- tidal gravity changes. The bibliography of the related works is given in references.
The summary of research activities concerning reference frames and reference networks performed in Poland in a period of 2011–2014 is presented. It contains the results of research on implementation of IUGG2011 and IAU2012 resolutions on reference systems, implementation of the ETRS89 in Poland, operational work of permanent IGS/ EUREF stations in Poland, operational work of ILRS laser ranging station in Poland, active GNSS station networks in Poland, maintenance of vertical control in Poland, maintenance and modernization of gravity control, and maintenance of magnetic control in Poland. The bibliography of the related works is given in references.
The GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer) has significantly upgraded the knowledge on the Earth gravity field. In this contribution the accuracy of height anomalies determined from Global Geopotential Models (GGMs) based on approximately 27 months GOCE satellite gravity gradiometry (SGG) data have been assessed over Poland using three sets of precise GNSS/levelling data. The fits of height anomalies obtained from 4th release GOCE-based GGMs to GNSS/levelling data were discussed and compared with the respective ones of 3rd release GOCE-based GGMs and the EGM08. Furthermore, two highly accurate gravimetric quasigeoid models were developed over the area of Poland using high resolution Faye gravity anomalies. In the first, the GOCE-based GGM was used as a reference geopotential model, and in the second – the EGM08. They were evaluated with GNSS/levelling data and their accuracy performance was assessed. The use of GOCE-based GGMs for recovering the long-wavelength gravity signal in gravimetric quasigeoid modelling was discussed.
The dedicated gravity satellite missions, in particular the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission launched in 2002, provide unique data for studying temporal variations of mass distribution in the Earth’s system, and thereby, the geometry and the gravity field changes of the Earth. The main objective of this contribution is to estimate physical height (e.g. the orthometric/normal height) changes over Central Europe using GRACE satellite mission data as well as to analyse them and model over the selected study area. Physical height changes were estimated from temporal variations of height anomalies and vertical displacements of the Earth surface being determined over the investigated area. The release 5 (RL05) GRACE-based global geopotential models as well as load Love numbers from the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM) were used as input data. Analysis of the estimated physical height changes and their modelling were performed using two methods: the seasonal decomposition method and the PCA/ EOF (Principal Component Analysis/Empirical Orthogonal Function) method and the differences obtained were discussed. The main findings reveal that physical height changes over the selected study area reach up to 22.8 mm. The obtained physical height changes can be modelled with an accuracy of 1.4 mm using the seasonal decomposition method.
Time series of weekly and daily solutions for coordinates of permanent GNSS stations may indicate local deformations in Earth’s crust or local seasonal changes in the atmosphere and hydrosphere. The errors of the determined changes are relatively large, frequently at the level of the signal. Satellite radar interferometry and especially Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) is a method of a very high accuracy. Its weakness is a relative nature of measurements as well as accumulation of errors which may occur in the case of PSI processing of large areas. It is thus beneficial to confront the results of PSI measurements with those from other techniques, such as GNSS and precise levelling. PSI and GNSS results were jointly processed recreating the history of surface deformation of the area of Warsaw metropolitan with the use of radar images from Envisat and Cosmo- SkyMed satellites. GNSS data from Borowa Gora and Jozefoslaw observatories as well as from WAT1 and CBKA permanent GNSS stations were used to validate the obtained results. Observations from 2000–2015 were processed with the Bernese v.5.0 software. Relative height changes between the GNSS stations were determined from GNSS data and relative height changes between the persistent scatterers located on the objects with GNSS stations were determined from the interferometric results. The consistency of results of the two methods was 3 to 4 times better than the theoretical accuracy of each. The joint use of both methods allows to extract a very small height change below the level of measurement error.
The existing Polish gravity control (POGK) established in the last few years of 20th century according to the international standards is spanned on 12 absolute gravity stations surveyed with four different types of absolute gravimeters. Relative measurements performed by various groups on nearly 350 points of POGK with the use of LaCoste&Romberg (LCR) gravimeters were linked to those 12 stations. The construction of the network, in particular the limited number of non homogeneously distributed absolute gravity stations with gravity determined with different instruments in different epochs is responsible for systematic errors in g on POGK stations. The estimate of those errors with the use of gravity measurements performed in 2007-2008 is given and their possible sources are discussed. The development of absolute gravity measurement technologies, in particular instruments for precise field absolute gravity measurements, provides an opportunity to establish new type of gravity control consisting of stations surveyed with absolute gravimeters. New gravity control planned to be established in 2012-2014 will consist of 28 fundamental points (surveyed with the FG5 – gravimeter), and 169 base points (surveyed with the A10 gravimeter). It will fulfill recent requirements of geodesy and geodynamics and it will provide good link to the existing POGK. A number of stations of the new gravity control with precisely determined position and height will form the national combined geodetic network. Methodology and measurement schemes for both absolute gravimeters as well as the technology for vertical gravity gradient determinations in the new gravity control were developed and tested. The way to assure proper gravity reference level with relation to ICAG and ECAG campaigns as well as local absolute gravimeter comparisons are described highlighting the role of metrology in the project. Integral part of the project are proposals of re-computation of old gravity data and their transformation to a new system (as 2nd order network) as well as a definition of gravity system as “zero-tide” system. Seasonal variability of gravity has been discussed indicating that the effects of environmental changes when establishing modern gravity control with absolute gravity survey cannot be totally neglected .