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Regional Models

Mexico (MEXICO97)

  Author: D.A. Smith     Created: 1997    Resp: D.A. Smith  
      Status: PUBLIC    

This 2' geoid height grid for Mexico, and North-Central America, is the MEXICO97 geoid model. The computation used about one million terrestrial and marine gravity measurements held in the NGS database as of March 1997. These gravity measurements were augmented by data contributions from NIMA, and satellite altimeter-derived gravity anomalies computed by Sandwell and Smith (1997). Large data gaps south of 20 degrees North latitude were filled with 15'x15' gravity values derived from the EGM96 global geopotential model. This helped control interpolation errors across the data gaps during the gridding of terrain corrected Bouguer anomalies. After gridding of the Bouguer anomalies, the Bouguer plate was restored, a degree 360 model of gravity anomalies (from EGM96) was removed, and the residual free-air anomalies in the data gaps (south of 20 degrees North Latitude) were zeroed. (This zeroing was found to be the best way currently available to yield a reasonable geoid in the data gaps). The residual Faye anomalies were converted to residual co-geoid undulations through a 1-D FFT formulation of Stokes' integral, and finally the EGM96 undulation model was restored, and the indirect effect applied. This means that in the data gaps, long wavelength information is provided by EGM96, short wavelength information is provided by the 2'x2' DTED (during the application of the indirect effect), but medium wavelength information (usually provided by gravity measurements) is missing altogether. Although the exact accuracy of the geoid in the data gaps is difficult to ascertain, the quoted accuracy for EGM96 (which is the primary source of geoid information in the data gaps) is below 50 cm in these areas. The gravity values are based on the International Gravity Standardization Net 1971 (IGSN71). The geoid heights are referred to the Geodetic Reference System 1980 (GRS80) ellipsoid, centered at the origin of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame 1994 (ITRF94(1996.0)). Additional information is available at: We are particularly grateful to NIMA for their assistance and their data contributions.

D.A. Smith (1997). Mexico geoid heights (MEXICO97). NOAA/National Geodetic Survey of the United States of America.
D.A. Smith, D.G. Milbert (1999). The GEOID96 high resolution geoid height model for the United States. Journal of Geodesy, 73(5), pp. 219-236.