Altimetry-derived gravity predictions of bathymetry by the gravity-geologic method

Jeong Woo Kim, Ralph R.B. von Frese, Bang Yong Lee, Daniel R. Roman, Seong Jae Doh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The gravity-geologic method (GGM) was implemented for 2' by 2' bathymetric determinations in a 1.6° longitudeby-1.0° latitude region centered on the eastern end of the Shackleton Fracture Zone in the Drake Passage, Antarctica. The GGM used the Bouguer slab approximation to process satellite altimetry-derived marine free-air gravity anomalies and 6,548 local shipborne bathymetric sounding measurements from the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute to update the surrounding off-track bathymetry. The limitations of the Bouguer slab for modeling the gravity effects of variable density, rugged bathymetric relief at distances up to several kilometers, were mitigated by establishing 'tuning' densities that stabilized the GGM predictions. Tests using two-thirds of the shipborne bathymetric measurements to estimate the remaining third indicated that the tuning densities minimized root-mean-square deviations to about 29 m. The optimum GGM bathymetry model honoring all the ship observations correlated very well with widely available bathymetry models, despite local differences that ranged up to a few kilometers. The great analytical simplicity of GGM facilitates accurately and efficiently updating bathymetry as new gravity and bathymetric sounding data become available. Furthermore, the availability of marine free-air gravity anomaly data ensures that the GGM is more effective than simply extrapolating or interpolating ship bathymetry coverage into unmapped regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-826
Number of pages12
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May


  • Altimetry-derived gravity anomaly
  • Antarctica
  • Bathymetry prediction
  • Drake Passage
  • Gravity-geologic method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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