A Discussion of Fundamental Constants in View of Geodetic Reference Systems

  • Erwin Groten
Conference paper
Part of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia book series (IAG SYMPOSIA, volume 123)


Besides global terrestrial reference systems, such as ITRF (S) WGS 84, as updated in 1997, there exist a variety of continental or regional reference systems basically related to ITRF. With ongoing applications of global vertical positioning a global vertical datum becomes feasible. As systems, such as EUREF etc., are basically three-dimensional, the combination and unification of continental and regional vertical datums can now be implemented. First approaches of that kind, using tide-gauges in combination with repeat GPS-positioning as well as levelling together with satellite altimetry of different kind (TP, ERS-1/2 etc.) are affected by the temporal changes of global heights which are basically different from temporal changes in horizontal systems which are dominated by global plate tectonics in such a way that, at least, large scale behavior can be modelled by NUVEL-1A and similar systems. Moreover, in vertical systems the global geoid in terms of the geopotential W has to be incorporated. Thus an additional parameter which is not very well known globally, even though regional differences were meanwhile quite well explored, plays a significant role. Together with the geoid a Somigliana type normal field is appropriately introduced. In view of ecological and climatological aspects the mass exchange of ocean and atmosphere, its temporal variations in terms of El Nino and climatology, and a variety of dynamic aspects related to oceanic effects become relevant. In SC-3 of IAG all these aspects are presently discussed. New results have been investigated and compared with each other. In that connection the geopotential at the geoid W° plays a significant role and the accuracy of its present determination, problems associated with it, its interrelation with other global parameters and its use as a primary constant were considered. Results are presented in this paper.


Gravity Anomaly Normal Gravity Satellite Altimetry Geoid Height Vertical Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bjerhammar, A. (1985): On a Relativistic Geodesy in Bull Géod. 59:207–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bursa, M., J. Kouba, S. Kenyon, M. Kumar, A. Müller, K. Radej, V. Vatrt, V. Vitek, M. Vojtiskova (2000): Long-term stability of geoidal gopotential from Topex-Poseidon satellite altimetry (1993–1999) in Studia Geophys. et Geodaet. (in press)Google Scholar
  3. Bursa, M., J. Kouba, V. Vatrt, V. Vitek and M. Vojtiskova (2000): Topex-Poseidon altimetry and dynamics of the ocean atmosphere system in Studia Geophys. et Geodaet. 44: 1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Grafarend, E. and A. Ardalan (1999): World Geodetic Datum 2000 in J. Géodes. 73: 611–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Groten, E. (2000): Report on Spec. Comm. 3 of IAG, paper presented at IAUColl. 180, USNO, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  6. Groten, E., L. Fenoglio-Marc and L. Wang (2000): El Nino (1997) — main characteristics and interannual earth rotation variability in AVN4: 140–146Google Scholar
  7. Heck, B., R. Rummel (1990): Strategies for problem using terrestrial and satellite geodetic data. In: Sünkel H, Baker T. (eds) Sea surface topography and the geoid in Journal of Geodesy74: 335–358Google Scholar
  8. Lehmann, R. (1999): Altimetry-gravimetry problems with free vertical datum in Journal of Geodesy74: 327–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Martinec, Z. (1998): Boundary-value problems for gravimetric determination of a precise geoid, Lecture notes in Earth sciences vol 73, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Poutanen, M., Kakkuri, J. (1999): Rep. Finn. Geod. Inst. 99:4Google Scholar
  11. Rummel, R. K.H. Ilk (1995): Height datum connection — the ocean part, Allg. Verm-Nachr.8–9: 321–330Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erwin Groten
    • 1
  1. 1.IPGDarmstadt University of TechnologyDarmstadtGermany

Personalised recommendations