MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: How much does Earth's surface gravity vary?

Date: Tue Apr 3 12:35:23 2007
Posted By: James Holliday, Grad student, Physics Department, University of California, Davis
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 1175303471.Es


It's true that the Earth's gravity varies over its surface. While the average gravitational acceleration at the surface is approximately 9.80 m/s2, it can vary by a factor of around 1%. This amount is definately measureable, but depending on what you mean, probably not noticable.

The cause of the gravity anomalies can be attributed to a combiniation of factors:

The GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) project has some interesting pictures of the Earth's gravity field anomalies and a nice description of how the measurements were made.

I hope this has helped.


James R Holliday

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