Posts uit mei, 2015 weergeven

Measuring mass changes with satellites

In my latest paper, GRACE gravity observations constrain Weichselian ice thickness in the Barents Sea, I use an incredible satellite data set. Starting from 2003, NASA's GRACE satellite mission is producing monthly "images" of the Earth's gravity field. These observations are so accurate that certain mass transport is visible, if you look at the differences between these "images". This new data set gives tons of information about many different natural processes. Oh and the figures are so cool!
For this blog, I downloaded GRACE data (click here for information, and here for the data) from the period between 2003 and 2013, CSR release. For every spot on the Earth, I calculated the linear gravity change in this period, so not the seasonal variations. The results are shown in the figure below:
The red areas show localised gravity increase (or mass increase) and the blue areas show localised gravity decrease (or mass decrease). I have capped the negative areas…