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.
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.