The superconducting Gravimeter CD-034 at Moxa Observatory: more than 20 years of scientific Experience and a Reanimation

in: Pure and Applied Geophysics (2023)
Jahr, Thomas; Stolz, Ronny
In this work, advanced methods and processing schemes for the analysis of data from a Superconducting Gravimeter (SG) will be introduced and their relevance on acquired data proved. The SG CD-034 was installed on Easter of 1999 in the Geodynamic Observatory Moxa of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. Initially, the quality of the recorded data was examined, spectra for the detection of the parasitic modes were calculated and the calibration values for the two sensors were determined. Ever since very high-quality gravity data of this SG and most of the other worldwide SGs were made available through the storage archive of the Global Geodynamics Project (GGP later changed to IGETS, International Geodynamics and Earth Tide Service) for global scientific investigations at that time. SG’s such as the one in Moxa (Germany) still deliver significant scientific value for global gravitational field studies as well as for regional/local studies which will be shortly reviewed. Examples are the detection of polar motion, the influence of continental water loading in general and in particular river basin loads, the gravimetric effect of North Sea storm surges and the study of hydrogravimetric signals, which could be compared with satellite observations and global hydraulic models. The long-term, lownoise operation of complex SG’s requires some effort on maintenance. In order to evaluate the correct operation of the SG, new data processing steps were introduced to assist in the analysis of the data in case of issues with the instrumentation. For example, in 2012/2013 and 2020/2021 severe interference in the gravimeter electronics in Moxa led to a significant loss of data. In both cases, however, the cause could be determined, and the corresponding electronic components renewed. Since July 2021, the SG in Moxa registers again with high data quality comparable or slightly better than before the incident. Initial tests and tidal analyses confirm the validity of the old calibration factors, and the authors now look forward to the re-established long-term recording with excitement and confidence.

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