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For computational reasons, the spline interpolation of the Earth's gravitational potential is usually done in a spherical framework. In this work, however, we investigate a spline method with respect to the real Earth. We are concerned with developing the real Earth oriented strategies and methods for the Earth's gravitational potential determination. For this purpose we introduce the reproducing kernel Hilbert space of Newton potentials on and outside given regular surface with reproducing kernel defined as a Newton integral over it's interior. We first give an overview of thus far achieved results considering approximations on regular surfaces using surface potentials (Chapter 3). The main results are contained in the fourth chapter where we give a closer look to the Earth's gravitational potential, the Newton potentials and their characterization in the interior and the exterior space of the Earth. We also present the L2-decomposition for regions in R3 in terms of distributions, as a main strategy to impose the Hilbert space structure on the space of potentials on and outside a given regular surface. The properties of the Newton potential operator are investigated in relation to the closed subspace of harmonic density functions. After these preparations, in the fifth chapter we are able to construct the reproducing kernel Hilbert space of Newton potentials on and outside a regular surface. The spline formulation for the solution to interpolation problems, corresponding to a set of bounded linear functionals is given, and corresponding convergence theorems are proven. The spline formulation reflects the specifics of the Earth's surface, due to the representation of the reproducing kernel (of the solution space) as a Newton integral over the inner space of the Earth. Moreover, the approximating potential functions have the same domain of harmonicity as the actual Earth's gravitational potential, i.e., they are harmonic outside and continuous on the Earth's surface. This is a step forward in comparison to the spherical harmonic spline formulation involving functions harmonic down to the Runge sphere. The sixth chapter deals with the representation of the used kernel in the spherical case. It turns out that in the case of the spherical Earth, this kernel can be considered a kind of generalization to spherically oriented kernels, such as Abel-Poisson or the singularity kernel. We also investigate the existence of the closed expression of the kernel. However, at this point it remains to be unknown to us. So, in Chapter 7, we are led to consider certain discretization methods for integrals over regions in R3, in connection to theory of the multidimensional Euler summation formula for the Laplace operator. We discretize the Newton integral over the real Earth (representing the spline function) and give a priori estimates for approximate integration when using this discretization method. The last chapter summarizes our results and gives some directions for the future research.

The main aim of this work was to obtain an approximate solution of the seismic traveltime tomography problems with the help of splines based on reproducing kernel Sobolev spaces. In order to be able to apply the spline approximation concept to surface wave as well as to body wave tomography problems, the spherical spline approximation concept was extended for the case where the domain of the function to be approximated is an arbitrary compact set in R^n and a finite number of discontinuity points is allowed. We present applications of such spline method to seismic surface wave as well as body wave tomography, and discuss the theoretical and numerical aspects of such applications. Moreover, we run numerous numerical tests that justify the theoretical considerations.