Promises and Pitfalls of GOCE Gravity Gradient Products for Geophysical Research
Bouman, Johannes1; Fuchs, Martin1; Lieb, Verena1; Abdul Fattah, Rader2; Haagmans, Roger3; Meekes, Sjef2; Schmidt, Michael1

GOCE gravity gradient data can improve modeling of the Earth's lithosphere and thereby contribute to a better understanding of the Earth's dynamic processes. The direct use, however, of these data in geophysical modeling is not straightforward for a number of reasons. The gradients are given in a rotating instrument frame, with diverse, gradient dependent, error characteristics, which may differ for ascending and descending tracks. Furthermore, the orbital height where the data are collected varies over several km and is not constant. In our presentation we will present a recipe how to prepare GOCE gravity gradients making them easier to use for geophysical studies. Also addressed is the combination with terrestrial gravity data to derive combined gravity field products. Finally, we discuss the consistent application of topographic reductions and the proper use of the different reference frames that are involved. This study is carried out under an ESA's STSE contract.