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Spline functions that approximate data given on the sphere are developed in a weighted Sobolev space setting. The flexibility of the weights makes possible the choice of the approximating function in a way which emphasizes attributes desirable for the particular application area. Examples show that certain choices of the weight sequences yield known methods. A convergence theorem containing explicit constants yields a usable error bound. Our survey ends with the discussion of spherical splines in geodetically relevant pseudodifferential equations.

Some new approximation methods are described for harmonic functions corresponding to boundary values on the (unit) sphere. Starting from the usual Fourier (orthogonal) series approach, we propose here nonorthogonal expansions, i.e. series expansions in terms of overcomplete systems consisting of localizing functions. In detail, we are concerned with the so-called Gabor, Toeplitz, and wavelet expansions. Essential tools are modulations, rotations, and dilations of a mother wavelet. The Abel-Poisson kernel turns out to be the appropriate mother wavelet in approximation of harmonic functions from potential values on a spherical boundary.

The paper discusses the approximation of scattered data on the sphere which is one of the major tasks in geomathematics. Starting from the discretization of singular integrals on the sphere the authors devise a simple approximation method that employs locally supported spherical polynomials and does not require equidistributed grids. It is the basis for a hierarchical approximation algorithm using differently scaled basis functions, adaptivity and error control. The method is applied to two examples one of which is a digital terrain model of Australia.

For the determination of the earth" s gravity field many types of observations are available nowadays, e.g., terrestrial gravimetry, airborne gravimetry, satellite-to-satellite tracking, satellite gradiometry etc. The mathematical connection between these observables on the one hand and gravity field and shape of the earth on the other hand, is called the integrated concept of physical geodesy. In this paper harmonic wavelets are introduced by which the gravitational part of the gravity field can be approximated progressively better and better, reflecting an increasing flow of observations. An integrated concept of physical geodesy in terms of harmonic wavelets is presented. Essential tools for approximation are integration formulas relating an integral over an internal sphere to suitable linear combinations of observation functionals, i.e., linear functionals representing the geodetic observables. A scale discrete version of multiresolution is described for approximating the gravitational potential outside and on the earth" s surface. Furthermore, an exact fully discrete wavelet approximation is developed for the case of band-limited wavelets. A method for combined global outer harmonic and local harmonic wavelet modelling is proposed corresponding to realistic earth" s models. As examples, the role of wavelets is discussed for the classical Stokes problem, the oblique derivative problem, satellite-to-satellite tracking, satellite gravity gradiometry, and combined satellite-to-satellite tracking and gradiometry.

The basic theory of spherical singular integrals is recapitulated. Criteria are given for measuring the space-frequency localization of functions on the sphere. The trade off between space localization on the sphere and frequency localization in terms of spherical harmonics is described in form of an uncertainty principle. A continuous version of spherical multiresolution is introduced, starting from continuous wavelet transform corresponding to spherical wavelets with vanishing moments up to a certain order. The wavelet transform is characterized by least-squares properties. Scale discretization enables us to construct spherical counterparts of wavelet packets and scale discrete Daubechies" wavelets. It is shown that singular integral operators forming a semigroup of contraction operators of class (Co) (like Abel-Poisson or Gauß-Weierstraß operators) lead in canonical way to pyramyd algorithms. Fully discretized wavelet transforms are obtained via approximate integration rules on the sphere. Finally applications to (geo-)physical reality are discussed in more detail. A combined method is proposed for approximating the low frequency parts of a physical quantity by spherical harmonics and the high frequency parts by spherical wavelets. The particular significance of this combined concept is motivated for the situation of today" s physical geodesy, viz. the determination of the high frequency parts of the earth" s gravitational potential under explicit knowledge of the lower order part in terms of a spherical harmonic expansion.

The static deformation of the surface of the earth caused by surface pressure like the water load of an ocean or an artificial lake is discussed. First a brief mention is made on the solution of the Boussenesq problem for an infinite halfspace with the elastic medium to be assumed as homogeneous and isotropic. Then the elastic response for realistic earth models is determinied by spline interpolation using Navier splines. Major emphasis is on the derteminination of the elastic field caused by water loads from surface tractions on the (real) earth" s surface. Finally the elastic deflection of an artificial lake assuming a homogeneous isotropic crust is compared for both evaluation methods.

A concept of generalized discrepancy, which involves pseudodifferential operators to give a criterion of equidistributed pointsets, is developed on the sphere. A simply structured formula in terms of elementary functions is established for the computation of the generalized discrepancy. With the help of this formula five kinds of point systems on the sphere, namely lattices in polar coordinates, transformed 2-dimensional sequences, rotations on the sphere, triangulation, and sum of three squares sequence, are investigated. Quantitative tests are done, and the results are compared with each other. Our calculations exhibit different orders of convergence of the generalized discrepancy for different types of point systems.

Spline functions that interpolate data given on the sphere are developed in a weighted Sobolev space setting. The flexibility of the weights makes possible the choice of the approximating function in a way which emphasizes attributes desirable for the particular application area. Examples show that certain choices of the weight sequences yield known methods. A pointwise convergence theorem containing explicit constants yields a useable error bound.

Wavelet transform originated in 1980's for the analysis of seismic signals has seen an explosion of applications in geophysics. However, almost all of the material is based on wavelets over Euclidean spaces. This paper deals with the generalization of the theory and algorithmic aspects of wavelets to a spherical earth's model and geophysically relevant vector fields such as the gravitational, magnetic, elastic field of the earth.A scale discrete wavelet approach is considered on the sphere thereby avoiding any type of tensor-valued 'basis (kernel) function'. The generators of the vector wavelets used for the fast evaluation are assumed to have compact supports. Thus the scale and detail spaces are finite-dimensional. As an important consequence, detail information of the vector field under consideration can be obtained only by a finite number of wavelet coefficients for each scale. Using integration formulas that are exact up to a prescribed polynomial degree, wavelet decomposition and reconstruction are investigated for bandlimited vector fields. A pyramid scheme for the recursive computation of the wavelet coefficients from level to level is described in detail. Finally, data compression is discussed for the EGM96 model of the earth's gravitational field.

Satellite gradiometry and its instrumentation is an ultra-sensitive detection technique of the space gravitational gradient (i.e. the Hesse tensor of the gravitational potential). Gradeometry will be of great significance in inertial navigation, gravity survey, geodynamics and earthquake prediction research. In this paper, satellite gradiometry formulated as an inverse problem of satellite geodesy is discussed from two mathematical aspects: Firstly, satellite gradiometry is considered as a continuous problem of harmonic downward continuation. The space-borne gravity gradients are assumed to be known continuously over the satellite (orbit) surface. Our purpose is to specify sufficient conditions under which uniqueness and existence can be guaranteed. It is shown that, in a spherical context, uniqueness results are obtainable by decomposition of the Hesse matrix in terms of tensor spherical harmonics. In particular, the gravitational potential is proved to be uniquely determined if second order radial derivatives are prescribed at satellite height. This information leads us to a reformulation of satellite gradiometry as a (Fredholm) pseudodifferential equation of first kind. Secondly, for a numerical realization, we assume the gravitational gradients to be known for a finite number of discrete points. The discrete problem is dealt with classical regularization methods, based on filtering techniques by means of spherical wavelets. A spherical singular integral-like approach to regularization methods is established, regularization wavelets are developed which allow the regularization in form of a multiresolution analysis. Moreover, a combined spherical harmonic and spherical regularization wavelet solution is derived as an appropriate tool in future (global and local) high-presision resolution of the earth" s gravitational potential.