Contribution of GRACE Satellite Mission to the Determination of Orthometric/Normal Heights Corrected for Their Dynamics—A Case Study of Poland
Physical heights were traditionally determined without considering the dynamic processes of the Earth induced from temporal mass variations. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission provided valuable data that allow the estimation of geoid/quasigeoid height changes and vertical deformations of the Earth's surface induced from temporal mass loading, and thereby temporal variations of physical heights. The objective of this investigation is to discuss the determination of orthometric/normal heights considering mass transports within the Earth's system. An approach to determine such heights was proposed. First, temporal variations of orthometric/normal heights (ΔH/ΔH*) were determined using the release 6 GRACE-based Global Geopotential Models together with load Love numbers obtained from the preliminary reference Earth model. Then, those variations were modelled and predicted using the seasonal decomposition (SD) method. The proposed approach was tested on the territory of Poland. The main results obtained reveal that ΔH/ΔH* over the area investigated are at the level of a couple of centimetres and that they can be modelled and predicted with a millimetre accuracy using the SD method. Orthometric/normal heights corrected for their dynamics can be determined by combining modelled ΔH/ΔH* with orthometric/normal heights referred to a specific reference epoch.