Observation and Data Archiving System of a Superconducting Gravimeter at Syowa Station, Antarctica


A superconducting gravimeter (SG, model TT70#016, GWR Instruments) was deployed for the first time in Antarctica in 1992 at Syowa Station. Observations began in April 1993. Although the SG was equipped with a 10 K cryocooler, its liquid helium (LHe) required refilling twice a year to maintain its superconducting state. The LHe was produced by a separate helium liquefier. After continuous gravity measurement with the SG for 11 years, it was replaced by a second SG (CT#043) with a 4 K cryocooler in December 2003 in order to reduce loads of person in charge for LHe production. Because the manufacturer could not supply a replacement 4 K cryocooler, this SG ceased measurement in November 2009. In January 2010, a new superconducting gravimeter (OSG#058) was installed and had recorded high-quality gravity time series with data acquired every second for more than five years without interruption. Because the personal computer (PC) controlling the observation and data acquisition is connected with PCs in Japan through an Intelsat satellite communication link, we can check the status of observations in real time. It is also possible to fix remotely certain problems with the gravimeter. The observed gravity data are transferred daily to a data server in Japan. Also included in the upload are diagnostic data of the gravimeter such as the temperature of the coldhead and environmental data such as atmospheric pressure. Plots of the daily data are publicly available. The raw data with a 1 s sampling interval are also released to registered researchers. The released gravity time series along with the environmental data are greatly useful for investigating solid earth dynamics especially in the long period bands. We provide necessary information to use these long-range data sets.

Share and Cite:

Aoyama, Y. , Ikeda, H. , Hayakawa, H. , Doi, K. , Fukuda, Y. and Shibuya, K. (2015) Observation and Data Archiving System of a Superconducting Gravimeter at Syowa Station, Antarctica. International Journal of Geosciences, 6, 1116-1126. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2015.610087.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Prothero, W.A. and Goodkind, J.M. (1968) A Superconducting Gravimeter. Review of Scientific Instruments, 39, 1257-1262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1683645
[2] Goodkind, J.M. (1991) The Superconducting Gravimeters: Principles of Operation, Current Performance and Future prospects. In: C. Poitevin, Ed., Cahiers du Centre Europeen de Geodynamique et de Seismologie, Proceedings of the Workshop: Non Tidal Gravity Changes—Intercomparison between Absolute and Superconducting Gravimeters, Walferdange (Grand Duchy of Luxemburg), 3, 81-90.
[3] Warburton, R.J. and Brinton, E.W. (1994) Recent Developments in GWR Instruments’ Superconducting Gravimeters. Cahiers du Centre Europeen de Geodynamique et de Seismologie. Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop: Non Tidal Gravity Changes—Intercomparison between Absolute and Superconducting Gravimeters, Walferdange (Grand Duchy of Luxemburg), 11, 23-56.
[4] Boedecker, G. and Fritzer, T. (1986) International Absolute Gravity Basestation Network, Status Report March 1986. International Association of Geodesy Special Study Group 3.87, Ver?ffentlichungen der Bayerischen Kommission für die Internationale Erdmessung der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenshaften, Heft, 47, 68 p.
[5] Nakagawa, I., Shibuya, K., Kaminuma, K., Fujiwara, S., Watanabe, K., Murakami, M., Ishihara, M., Tsubokawa, T., Hanada, H. and Yokoyama, K. (1994) Absolute Gravity Measurements at Syowa Station during the Japanese Antarctic Research Expeditions. Bull d’Inform. BGI, 75, 41-56.
[6] Crossley, D., Hinderer, J., Casula, G., Francis, O., Hsu, H.-T., lmanishi, Y., Jentzsch, G., Kadridnen, J., Merriam, J., Meurers, B., Neumeyer, J. Richter, B., Shibuya, K., Sato, T. and van Dam, T. (1999) Network of Superconducting Gravimeters Benefits a Number of Disciplines. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 80, 121-126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/99EO00079
[7] Aoyama, Y., Doi, K., Shibuya, K., Ueda, I. and Fukuzaki, Y. (2015) Contribution of DORIS to GGOS. Abstract of Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2015, Chiba.
[8] Iwano, S., Kimura, I. and Fukuda, Y. (2003) Calibration of the Superconducting Gravimeter TT70 #016 at Syowa Station by Parallel Observation with the Absolute Gravimeter FG5 #203. Polar Geoscience, 16, 22-28.
[9] Iwano, S. and Fukuda, Y. (2004) Superconducting Gravimeter Observations without a Tilt Compensation System. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 147, 343-351.
[10] Shibuya, K., Doi, K., Sato, T. and Tamura, Y. (2005) Syowa Superconducting Gravimeter Raw Data and Associated Expedition Reports (Explanatory CD-ROM). JARE Data Reports, 283 (Earth Science 6), 34 p.
[11] http://isdc.gfz-potsdam.de/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=1&pid=55
[12] http://geo.nipr.ac.jp/SG/SG_at_SYOWA.html
[13] Ikeda, H., Doi, K., Fukuda, Y., Tamura, Y. and Shibuya, K. (2005) Installation of the Superconducting Gravimeter CT (#043) at Syowa Station, Antarctica. Polar Geoscience, 18, 49-57.
[14] Ikeda, H., Doi, K., Fukuda, Y., Shibuya, K. and Yoshizaki, R., (2005) Installation of Superconducting Gravimeter in Antarctica. Physica C, 426, 759-763. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physc.2005.02.078
[15] Tamura, Y., Sato, T., Ooe, M. and Ishiguro, M. (1991) A Procedure for Tidal Analysis with a Bayesian Information Criterion. Geophysical Journal International, 104, 507-516.
[16] Ikeda, H., Aoyama, Y., Hayakawa, H., Doi, K. and Shibuya, K. (2011) Development of the Superconducting Gravimeter Using a New Type of Diaphragm. Physica C, 471, 1543-1546.
[17] GGP (1997) GGP Newsletter #5, Sept. 10, 1997. Crossley, D. and Hinderer, J., Eds.
[18] Doi, K., Shibuya, K., Ikeda, H. and Fukuda, Y. (2008) Continuous Gravity Observation with the Superconducting Gravimeter CT#043 at Syowa Station, Antarctica. In: Capra, A. and Dietrich, R., Eds., Geodetic and Geophysical Observations in Antarctica, an Overview in the IPY Perspective, Springer, Berlin Heiderberg, 237-247.
[19] Aoyama, Y., Doi, K., Ikeda, H., Shibuya, K. and Hayakawa, H. (2015) Gravitational Effect of Accumulated Snow Mass in Five-Year Continuous Gravity Data Obtained with Superconducting Gravimeter OSG#058 at Syowa Station, East Antarctica. Submitted to Polar Science.
[20] http://www.gwrinstruments.com/

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.