THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENT CATEGORIES
Measurements > Gravity and Magnetic Fields



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The main focus of gravity and magnetic field measurements is the calculation of the Earth’s geoid, also known as the surface of equal gravitational potential at mean sea level.
MeasurementDescriptionTimeline
Gravity, Magnetic and Geodynamic measurements
ECV: Groundwater, Sea Level
The geoid is the surface of equal gravitational potential at mean sea level, and reflects the irregularities in the Earth’s gravity field at the planet’s surface caused by the inhomogeneous mass and density distribution in the interior. Such measurements are vital for quantitative determination – in combination with satellite altimetry – of ocean currents, improved global height references, estimates of the thickness of the polar ice sheets and its variations, and estimates of the mass/volume redistribution of fresh water in order to better understand the hydrological cycle.
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