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Time series of ocean mass change from Swarm

Swarm is a multi-satellite mission within the Earth Explorer Opportunity Program of the European Space Agency (ESA) with the primary purpose to study the Earth's geomagnetic field. The three satellites, Swarm A, B and C, were launched into a near-polar low Earth orbit on 22 November 2013. Swarm A and C fly side by side at a mean altitude of 450km and Swarm B is presently flying at 515km. This constellation provides a global coverage and a good opportunity to derive time-variable gravity fields from precise kinematic orbits. We compute these gravity fields within the project CONTIM and derive associated ocean mass change. This is currently of special interest as the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission has reached the end of its lifetime and we are a facing a gap of probably more than one year until its follow-on, GRACE-FO. A recent paper by Lück et al., 2018 shows whether the Swarm mission is able to fill this gap.



Figure: Ocean mass from GRACE and Swarm. Combining the three Swarm satellites improves the accuracy significantly.

The ocean mass time series that you can find here is updated with new orbit data from the Institut für Erdmessung (IfE) between April 2015 and December 2017. More information can be found in the Readme, in this easy to read blog entry ( and in Lück et al., 2018.



Lück, C., Kusche, J., Rietbroek, R., Löcher, A. (2018) Time-variable gravity fields and ocean mass change from 37 months of kinematic Swarm orbits, Solid Earth, 9, 323-339.,



If you have any questions regarding the time series, please contact Christina Strohmenger

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