ON THE DETERMINATION OF THE EARTH'S MODEL – THE MEAN EQUIPOTENTIAL SURFACE

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Abstract

Summary

The sea surface cannot be used as reference for Major Vertical Datum definition because its deviations from the ideal equipotential surface are very large compared to rms in the observed quantities. The quasigeoid is not quite suitable as the surface representing the most accurate Earth's model without some additional conditions, because it depends on the reference field. The normal Earth's model represented by the rotational level ellipsoid can be defined by the geocentric gravitational constant, the difference in the principal Earth's inertia moments, by the angular velocity of the Earth's rotation and by the semimajor axis or by the potential (U0) on the surface of the level ellipsoid. After determining the geopotential at the gauge stations defining Vertical Datums, gravity anomalies and heights should be transformed into the unique vertical system (Major Vertical Datum). This makes it possible to apply Brovar's (1995) idea of determining the reference ellipsoid by minimizing the integral, introduced by Riemann as the Dirichlet principle, to reach a minimum rms anomalous gravity field. Since the semimajor axis depends on tidal effects, potential U0 should be adopted as the fourth primary fundamental geodetic constant. The equipotential surface, the actual geopotential of which is equal to U0, can be adopted as reference for realizing the Major Vertical Datum.

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