Mass-change And Geosciences International Constellation (MAGIC) expected impact on science and applications

Daras, I; March, G; Pail, R; Hughes, C W ORCID:; Braitenberg, C; Güntner, A; Eicker, A; Wouters, B; Heller-Kaikov, B; Pivetta, T; Pastorutti, A. 2023 Mass-change And Geosciences International Constellation (MAGIC) expected impact on science and applications. Geophysical Journal International, 236 (3). 1288-1308.

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The joint ESA/NASA Mass-change And Geosciences International Constellation (MAGIC) has the objective to extend time-series from previous gravity missions, including an improvement of accuracy and spatio-temporal resolution. The long-term monitoring of Earth’s gravity field carries information on mass change induced by water cycle, climate change and mass transport processes between atmosphere, cryosphere, oceans and solid Earth. MAGIC will be composed of two satellite pairs flying in different orbit planes. The NASA/DLR-led first pair (P1) is expected to be in a near-polar orbit around 500 km of altitude; while the second ESA-led pair (P2) is expected to be in an inclined orbit of 65◦–70◦ at approximately 400 km altitude. The ESA-led pair P2 Next Generation Gravity Mission shall be launched after P1 in a staggered manner to form the MAGIC constellation. The addition of an inclined pair shall lead to reduction of temporal aliasing effects and consequently of reliance on de-aliasing models and post-processing. The main novelty of the MAGIC constellation is the delivery of mass-change products at higher spatial resolution, temporal (i.e.subweekly) resolution, shorter latency and higher accuracy than the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO). This will pave the way to new science applications and operational services. In this paper, an overview of various fields of science and service applications for hydrology, cryosphere, oceanography,solid Earth, climate change and geodesy is provided. These thematic fields and newly enabled applications and services were analysed in the frame of the initial ESA Science Support activities for MAGIC. The analyses of MAGIC scenarios for different application areas in the field of geosciences confirmed that the double-pair configuration will significantly enlarge the number of observable mass-change phenomena by resolving smaller spatial scales with an uncertainty that satisfies evolved user requirements expressed by international bodies such as IUGG. The required uncertainty levels of dedicated thematic fields met by MAGIC unfiltered Level-2 products will benefit hydrological applications by recovering more than 90 per cent of the major river basins worldwide at 260 km spatial resolution, cryosphere applications by enabling mass change signal separation in the interior of Greenland from those in the coastal zones and by resolving small-scale mass variability in challenging regions such as the Antarctic Peninsula, oceanography applications by monitoring meridional overturning circulation changes on timescales of years and decades, climate applications by detecting amplitude and phase changes of Terrestrial Water Storage after 30 yr in 64 and 56 per cent of the global land areas and solid Earth applications by lowering the Earthquake detection threshold from magnitude 8.8 to magnitude 7.4 with spatial resolution increased to 333 km.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0956-540X
Additional Keywords: Global change from geodesy, Satellite gravity, Time variable gravity, Glaciology, Hydrology, Earthquake dynamics
Date made live: 13 Mar 2024 13:21 +0 (UTC)

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