Sonata 13

Title of the article: Combining GRACE-type mission and GNSS CORS network data for the determination of temporal mass variations in the Earth system on a regional/local scale

The Project is funded by the National Science Centre, Poland (NCN) via the SONATA 13 research project No. 2017/26/D/ST10/00422

Duration of the project: 17.05.2018 – 16.11.2020

Financing amount: 326 500,00 zł

Project team:

Principal investigator: Dr Eng. Walyeldeen Godah, email:

Co-investigator: Dr Eng. Małgorzata Szelachowska, email:

Post-doc: Dr Jagat Dwipendra Ray, email:

General description

The project focuses on the determination of temporal mass variations within the Earth system on a regional/local scale using space geodetic data. The estimation of those temporal mass variations with the best accuracy as well as high temporal and spatial resolutions is one of the main tasks in the Earth science-related disciplines, e.g. in geodesy, geodynamics and geophysics.

The knowledge of temporal mass variations within the Earth system is essentially needed for understanding, monitoring and predicting many issues related to the Earth system, e.g. (1) crustal deformation due to mass loading – needed for dealing with natural hazard, (2) water mass variations – needed for dealing with climate change, flood, drought, groundwater depletion, (3) temporal gravity variations – needed to correct gravity control as well as to model regional geoid/quasigeoid with sub-centimetre accuracy.

The overarching objective of the proposed project is better understanding the mechanisms of temporal mass variations within the Earth system on a regional/local scale and modelling them using GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) mission data and GNSS data. The proposed project is dedicated to provide an innovative estimation of temporal mass variations by combining temporal mass variations obtained from GRACE mission data and from GNSS data. Case study for the area of Poland shall be performed, but similar research can be conducted in any part of the world where GNSS CORS networks of homogeneously distributed stations are in operation. Numerical results obtained for the study area might be of great importance for better understanding regional geodynamics but also for applications in different branches of economy and environmental management.

The expected advantage of this project could considerably help to (1) enhance and update the gravity control and its dynamic change, (2) upgrade the vertical height system by considering the seasonal variation of the crust, (3) develop a sub-centimetre accuracy geoid model – needed for scientific purposes as well as for high precision applications, (4) open a new application of the national GNSS CORS network that has already been established; the national GNSS CORS stations can be considered as in-situ instrumentation that enables the collection of information related to mass variations within the Earth system, (5) provide significant benefits to the water resource management.