An experimental Indian gravimetric geoid model using Curtin University’s approach
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Over the past decade, numerous advantages of a gravimetric geoid model and its possible suitability for the Indian national vertical datum have been discussed and advocated by the Indian scientific community and national geodetic agencies. However, despite several regional efforts, a state-of-the-art gravimetric geoid model for the whole of India remains elusive due to a multitude of reasons. India encompasses one of the most diverse topographies on the planet, which includes the Gangetic plains, the Himalayas, the Thar desert, and a long peninsular coastline, among other topographic features. In the present study, we have developed the first national geoid and quasigeoid models for India using Curtin University’s approach. Terrain corrections were found to reach an extreme of 187 mGal, Faye gravity anomalies 617 mGal, and the geoid-quasigeoid separation 4.002 m. We have computed both geoid and quasigeoid models to analyse their representativeness of the Indian normal-orthometric heights from the 119 GNSS-levelling points that are available to us. A geoid model for India has been computed with an overall standard deviation of ±0.396 m but varying from ±0.03 m to ±0.158 m in four test regions with GNSS-levelling data. The greatest challenge in developing a precise gravimetric geoid for the whole of India is data availability and its preparation. More densely surveyed precise gravity data and a larger number of GNSS/levelling data are required to further improve the models and their testing.
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