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Gravity forward modelling and inversion based on the updated, enhanced gravity field solution in Antarctica

Geoscientific studies in Antarctica are extremely challenging due to the remote location of the continent, its harsh environment and difficult logistics. Additionally, the continental crust is covered by an up to 5 km thick ice sheet, which makes surface based geoscientific studies extremely difficult. Gravity field measurements and gravity based subsurface models are therefore essential in studying the structure, properties and processes of the Antarctic subsurface. In the last decades a large database of airborne, shipborne and ground based gravity data has been compiled. Recently, all existing and new gravity data were processed to infer an enhanced gravity field solution for Antarctica. Subsequently, this new gravity field solution can be used for further geophysical studies. We use gravity disturbances to study subglacial topography, sediment thickness and Moho depths to improve respective existing models in Antarctica. Studying these parameters on a continental scale, we apply 2D Parker-Oldenburg inversion in combination with results from other gravity based studies and further constraining data. Additionally, we make use of the higher resolution of the new gravity grid (5 km) to study smaller regions in more detail, specifically the Weddell Sea area and Queen Mary Land. Here, we use gravity forward modelling constrained with ice penetrating radar and seismic data to infer geometric structure and densities of the subsurface. In this contribution we present results of the Parker-Oldenburg Inversion and discuss the underlying parameters. Also, we show the resulting 3D forward models of the Weddell Sea area and Queen Mary Land.


Theresa Schaller1, Mirko Scheinert1, Philipp Zingerle2, Roland Pail2, Martin Willberg2
1Geodetic Earth System Research, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany; 2Institute of Astronomical and Physical Geodesy, Technical University of Munich, Germany
GeoKarlsruhe 2021