Separating climate-induced mass transfers and instrumental effects from tectonic signal in repeated absolute gravity measurements

Abstract : We estimate the signature of the climate-induced mass transfers in repeated absolute gravity measurements based on satellite gravimetric measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission. We show results at the globe scale and compare them with repeated absolute gravity (AG) time behavior in three zones where AG surveys have been published: Northwestern Europe, Canada, and Tibet. For 10 yearly campaigns, the uncertainties affecting the determination of a linear gravity rate of change range 3–4 nm/s2/a in most cases, in the absence of instrumental artifacts. The results are consistent with what is observed for long-term repeated campaigns. We also discuss the possible artifact that can result from using short AG survey to determine the tectonic effects in a zone of high hydrological variability. We call into question the tectonic interpretation of several gravity changes reported from stations in Tibet, in particular the variation observed prior to the 2015 Gorkha earthquake.
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Michel van Camp, Olivier de Viron, Jean-Philippe Avouac. Separating climate-induced mass transfers and instrumental effects from tectonic signal in repeated absolute gravity measurements. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2016, ⟨10.1002/2016GL068648⟩. ⟨hal-01443343⟩

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