Unification of Height Reference System Realizations in Europe
Ruelke, Axel1; Liebsch, Gunter1; Sacher, Martina1; Ihde, Johannes1; Woodworth, Philip2; Hughes, Chris2
1Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy, GERMANY; 2National Oceanography Centre, UNITED KINGDOM

The gravity field satellite missions GRACE and GOCE have significantly improved the determination of the global gravity field. In the ESA STSE project GOCE+ Height System Unification with GOCE the feasibility of using GOCE derived geoid models for the unification of height systems are investigated. A combined gravity field model based on a global GOCE model and the regional European Gravimetric Quasigeoid (EGG2008, Denker 2013) has been used to estimate relative vertical offsets between national height system realizations in Europe. These results are compared to the results of the geodetic levelling approach and the oceanographic approach. Accuracies, advantages and drawbacks of all methods are discussed. Finally, conclusions on the realization of a European Height System are addressed.