Massentransporte und Massenverteilungen im System Erde  
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DFG Schwerpunktprogramm SPP1257

Meeresströmungen, Änderung des Grundwasserstandes und der Bodenfeuchte, das Abschmelzen kontinentaler Eisschilde, der Abfluss von Flusssystemen, die Änderungen des Meeresspiegels und Konvektionsströme im Erdmantel verursachen Transporte und Umverteilung der Massen.

Mit äußerst präzisen und neuartigen Sensoren messen Schwerefeld- und Altimetersatelliten die Auswirkung dieser Vorgänge. Die gemeinsame Analyse dieser Daten sollen das Verständnis dieser Prozesse im System Erde verbessern.

Der Senat der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) hat dazu die Einrichtung des Schwerpunktprogramms „Massentransporte und Massenverteilung im System Erde“ mit einer Laufzeit von sechs Jahren beschlossen. Das Programm erfordert einen integrierten Lösungsansatz, der nur durch disziplinübergreifende Datenanalysen und Modellbildungen erreicht werden kann.

Diese Internetseiten informieren über Inhalte und Ergebnisse des Schwerpunktprogramms.

Hot Stories

GPS hilft auch bei der Analyse der globalen Wasserressourcen - Hydrologisches Modell WaterGAP unterschätzt Wasserspeicherung

FRANKFURT. WaterGAP ist ein hydrologisches Modell, das Wasserknappheit, Grundwasserzehrung, Hochwasser und Dürren unter dem Einfluss des Klimawandels auf allen Landflächen der Erde modelliert. Wie gut dieses Modell ist, überprüfte die Frankfurter Hydrologin Prof. Petra Döll erstmals mithilfe von GPS-Beobachtungen und Daten der GRACE-Satelliten, die das Schwerefeld der Erde messen. Die in der aktuellen Ausgabe der Fachzeitschrift Survey in Geophysics publizierte Studie zeigt: WaterGAP muss modifiziert werden. [mehr]

Summer school on "GRACE/GRACE-FO applications for the terrestrial water cycle"

The SPP1257 will organize a summer school on "GRACE/GRACE-FO applications for the terrestrial water cycle", September 15-19, 2014. More information will be provided soon.

2nd Special Issue of the SPP1257

Preparation of the second special issue on mass transport and mass distribution in the system Earth, is well on its way. About 15 SPP-teams submitted their latest findings to this issue, to appear in Surveys of Geophysics.

Sonderheft des SPP Massentransporte

Das Sonderheft des SPP Massentransporte bei Journal of Geodynamics ist jetzt verfügbar.
Link zu Sciencedirect

Big Uncertainties in the Global Water Budget

No life without water. Catastrophes like droughts or strong rains reflect our dependence on the water cycle and climate system. Hence, it is important to understand details of the water cycle among the atmosphere, oceans, and land. A study in the Journal of Hydrometeorology now outlines significant differences of global models and measurement data sets. As the network of measurement stations worldwide is shrinking dramatically, uncertainties are increased. [ more ... ]

Joint GRACE Science Team Meeting and DFG SPP1257 Final Colloquium 17-19 September 2012 and DFG SPP1257 and Leopoldina Sea Level Workshop 20 September 2012

The joint GRACE Science Team Meeting (GSTM) and Final Colloquium of the DFG Special Priority Program (SPP1257) "Mass Transport and Mass Distribution in the System Earth" will take place at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam, Germany on September 17-19, 2012. Further information (registration, abstract upload, draft program) can be found here.

The meeting will be followed by a one day Sea Level Workshop (September 20) organized by the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and the SPP1257. Further information can be found here.

Podcast der Sommerschule zum Thema "Globaler Wasserkreislauf"

Am 12.-16. September 2011 fand in Mayschoss im Ahrtal bei Bonn die Sommerschule zum Thema "Globaler Wasserkreislauf" statt. Während der Sommerschule wurde von Uni Bonn TV ein Beitrag über die Veranstaltung gedreht.

Das Material der Sommerschule 2011 (Folien, Lecture Notes, Practicals, Daten) steht hier zum Download bereit. Bitte lesen Sie die Hinweise auf dem Deckblatt zur Verwendung.

Geocenter motion: A mind-boggling phenomenon

Let's face it, understanding the concept of 'geocenter motion' is not for the faint-hearted. On a good day it is only confusing, while on bad days we would rather avoid the subject all together. The story below is meant to clear the fog somewhat for those of you who have more bad days than good days. We additionally provide links to recently calculated geocenter motion time series, for those of you who want to get started with real data. [ more ... ]

The hidden geoid signal of LLSVPs: Counteracting effects of compositional and thermal density anomalies

When comparing the Earth’s geoid with a shear velocity anomaly map of the lowermost mantle, a clear spatial correlation between the positive geoid anomalies over Africa and the Pacific (Figure 1, top) and the location of Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) in the lowermost mantle (Figure 1, bottom) can be established. [ more ... ]

Classification of different types of geoid at top of the plume

We classified different plume types in terms of their geoid signals. These calculations have been done using a Finite Element convection code in axi-symmetric spherical shell geometry, where the plumes developed at the pole. We ran simulations of sixteen different viscosity distributions for three different Rayleigh numbers. They illustrate scenarios where hot plumes have a larger or smaller influence on the geoid and topography compared to the constant viscosity case. We now are able to define different classes of plumes by classifying their geoid signals. [ more ... ]


Looking into the inside of the ocean - A Moon story by DYNTIDE

Tides play an important role in the evaluation of satellite missions; they influence the altimetry and change the gravity fields due to short-term variations in the sea level and the associated loading effect on the sea floor. This effect causes aliasing in determining the geoid and in observing ice thickness, for example, on the Antarctica and on the Greenland. [ more ... ]


High resolution hydrological modelling

For the first time, a dedicated release of the hydrology and water use model WaterGAP3, tailored to the basins draining into the Mediterranean and Black Sea, has been set up and applied within the STREMP project. WaterGAP3 calculates all water fluxes (e.g. runoff, evapotranspiration) and water storage compartments (e.g. groundwater, snow storage) on a 5 arc minute grid (~6x9 km). Additionally, within the WaterGAP3 modelling framework five water use models for the sectors households, irrigation, livestock, electricity production, and manufacturing industries have been further developed and applied to account for extensive water abstractions in the region. Within the SPP1257 WaterGAP3 model output is being used to correct the estimation of water mass change for hydrology leakage on land and to account for freshwater inflow into both oceans. [ more ... ]


EGU-G5.3 Determination of Mass Transport and Distribution in the Earth System

The SPP1257 would like to draw your attention to the session G5.3 that will take place during the next EGU meeting in Vienna 03 Apr 2011 - 08 Apr 2011. Please submit your abstracts online before 10 January 2011, 24:00, the deadline for receipt of abstracts. To submit an abstract, follow the link in the session description page:

Contact: Johannes Riegger (, Tonie van Dam (, Jürgen Kusche (

Daily GRACE gravity field solutions

For the first time daily gravity field snapshots have been derived from GRACE level 1B data using a Kalman smoother approach. When calculating independent solutions, such an extreme increase in temporal resolution would lead to a loss in redundancy and therefore to a decreasing accuracy of the estimated parameters with decreasing time span. [ more ... ]

New global GRACE gravity field model ITG-Grace2010

The new gravity field model ITG-Grace2010 has recently been released. It was calculated at Bonn University from 7 years of GRACE level 1B observations (2002-08 – 2009-08) and consists of three parts: daily solutions calculated using a Kalman smoother, unconstrained monthly solutions, and a high-resolution long-time mean. [ more ... ]

Abschätzung der durch glazial-isostatische Anpassung bedingten Geozentrumsbewegung

Die glazial-isostatische Anpassung (GIA) beschreibt die Deformationen des Erdkörpers, die durch die sie belastenden Eisschilde verursacht werden. Diese bedeckten während des Pleistozäns wiederholt weite Teile Nordamerikas und Europas. [ More ... ]

Terrestrial gravity field variations from superconducting gravimeters for GRACE validation

Terrestrial gravity observations from superconducting gravimeters (SG) contain fundamental information on mass transfer especially related to hydrology. They offer the unique opportunity to supplement and validate the time-dependent gravity field variations derived from the GRACE satellite mission. [ More ... ]

A closer look at the Earth’s surface processes by merging geodetic and oceanographic datasets

Up to now, short-period mass transport processes, like continental hydrology and ocean dynamics, have been studied using individual datasets. Information from multiple datasets can however be combined to obtain more accurate estimates of mass transport and improve our knowledge of ocean and land processes. [ More... ]

Altimetry helps to improve global ocean tides: the EOT08a model

Analyzing nearly 15 years of altimeter data from different satellite missions a new global ocean tide model has been generated, providing amplitudes and phases for major diurnal and semi-diurnal constituents (K1, O1, Q1, M2, N2, S2, K2, 2N2) and the non-linear M4 tide on a dense 7.5'x7.5' geographical grid. [ More... ]

GOCEs „Herz“ schlägt - Kartierung der Schwerkraft in bisher einmaliger Detailgenauigkeit

Nach dem erfolgreichen Start des Schwerefeld -Satelliten GOCE der ESA am 17. März von der Raumfahrtstation Plesetsk im Norden Russlands wurde am 8. April das hochsensitive Gravitationsgradiometer eingeschaltet und produziert stabil aussagekräftige Daten. [ More... ]

A magnifying glass for GRACE: de-correlated spherical harmonic solutions

Analyzing more than 7 years of GRACE data has provided a completely new view on the Earth's changing gravity field and on the processes causing these changes. A new algorithm has been developed which allows reducing noise ('stripes') in GRACE solutions, and identifying signals of smaller scale than thought possible before.

[ More... ]


Empirical Orthogonal Functions can decompose the integral GRACE gravity signal

The twin GRACE satellites observe the time varying gravity field caused by the sum of all mass variations within the Earth system. It has now been proven that the integral GRACE observations can be separated by means of empirical orthogonal functions derived from geophysical models and that mass variations within the individual subsystems ocean, atmosphere and continental hydrosphere can be distinguished and quantified. [ More... ]