Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam

GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

GFZ at the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus

The GFZ section “Global Geomonitoring and Gravity Field” has been operating the Zugspitze Geodynamic Observatory (ZUGOG) since 2018 in a former laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) at the summit of Mount Zugspitze with a superconducting gravimeter as core instrument. The continuous and high-accuracy observations of temporal gravity variations from the gravimeter enable the analysis of mass redistributions in the area of Mount Zugspitze. The raw observations are publicly available in the database of the International Geodynamics and Earth Tide Service (IGETS)  (Voigt et al., 2019).

Gravimetric Monitoring for hydrological analysis in the Research Catchment Zugspitze

After reduction of temporal gravity variations in the Earth system (solid Earth and ocean tides, atmosphere, Earth rotation, non-local hydrology, non-tidal ocean loading) the gravity observations reflect total water storage variations at Mount Zugspitze with the seasonal snow cover in the Partnach spring catchment (Research Catchment Zugspitze) as dominant contributor. The gravimetric observations are therefore applied within a hydro-gravimetric approach and an interdisciplinary cooperation together with University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and the Augsburg University as constrains for an improved hydrological modelling (Voigt et al., 2021).

In addition, the Leibniz University Hannover has been carrying out episodic absolute gravity measurements since 2004 for the analysis of long-term gravity variations with contributions from mountain uplift and hydrological mass loss predominantly from glacier melts of Northern and Southern Schneeferner as well as from Höllentalferner, and permafrost degradation at the summit of Mount Zugspitze  (Timmen et al., 2021).

Current publications:

Timmen, L., Gerlach, C., Rehm, T., Völksen, C., and Voigt, C.: Geodetic-Gravimetric Monitoring of Mountain Uplift and Hydrological Variations at Zugspitze and Wank Mountains (Bavarian Alps, Germany) , Remote Sens., Special Issue "Geodesy for Gravity and Height Systems", 2021, 13(5), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13050918

Voigt, C., Schulz, K., Koch, F., Wetzel, K.-F., Timmen, L., Rehm, T., Pflug, H., Stolarczuk, N., Förste, C., and Flechtner, F.: Introduction of a superconducting gravimeter as novel hydrological sensor in the alpine research catchment Zugspitze, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sc., 2021 (submitted).

Voigt, C., Pflug, H., Förste, C., Flechtner, F., and Rehm, T.: Superconducting Gravimeter Data from Zugspitze - Level 1, V. 001, GFZ Data Services, doi: 10.5880/igets.zu.l1.001, 2019.