Twin satellites track water's rise and fall

By Sid Perkins, 15:51 PM April 15, 2008

A pair of satellites launched in 2002 has detected small, localized changes in Earth's gravitational field caused by seasonal variations in rainfall and soil moisture.

Earth's gravity can vary from place to place as large masses of air and water—such as weather systems and ocean tides—move across the planet's surface. Some of the largest gravitational variations result from water flow across land, says Byron D. Tapley of the University of Texas at Austin. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Expe...

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