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Simulation of the Indonesian land gravity data using a digital terrain model data


The Indonesian gravity field is neither accurately nor comprehensively determined, especially due to inadequacy of land gravity data. This study deals with determination of Indonesian land gravity and proposes the solution to data unavailability by means of a simulation technique. The simulation was carried out by combining short wavelength topographic effects from GTOPO30 and long wavelength information from EGM96. The simulated result was then compared with the observed gravity data. Over Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi islands, using three methods commonly used on the computation of topographic effect; topography, isostatic and RTM (Residual Terrain Model), it was estimated that error propagation by the GTOPO30 into the simulated gravity is about 4.5 to 11.7 mgal, with the RTM method was affected less than others. It was also shown that the simulated gravity from the RTM method gave the best agreement with STD (Standard Deviation) differences of 17 to 42 mgal compared to the observed data. This result was achieved after applying optimal RTM parameters over the Indonesian area: a reference field of 25′–27.5′ and density of 2–2.2 gr/cm3. Compared to STD differences between EGM96 and observed data, that between the simulated gravity and observed data improved by 2.5–7 mgal, and gave more detailed gravity features, especially over areas of high topography.


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Correspondence to Leni Sophia Heliani.

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Heliani, L.S., Fukuda, Y. & Takemoto, S. Simulation of the Indonesian land gravity data using a digital terrain model data. Earth Planet Sp 56, 15–24 (2004).

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Key words

  • Gravity simulation
  • residual terrain model (RTM)
  • topography
  • isostatic