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This work is dedicated to the wavelet modelling of regional and temporal variations of the Earth's gravitational potential observed by GRACE. In the first part, all required mathematical tools and methods involving spherical wavelets are introduced. Then we apply our method to monthly GRACE gravity fields. A strong seasonal signal can be identified, which is restricted to areas, where large-scale redistributions of continental water mass are expected. This assumption is analyzed and verified by comparing the time series of regionally obtained wavelet coefficients of the gravitational signal originated from hydrology models and the gravitational potential observed by GRACE. The results are in good agreement to previous studies and illustrate that wavelets are an appropriate tool to investigate regional time-variable effects in the gravitational field.

In this work we introduce a new bandlimited spherical wavelet: The Bernstein wavelet. It possesses a couple of interesting properties. To be specific, we are able to construct bandlimited wavelets free of oscillations. The scaling function of this wavelet is investigated with regard to the spherical uncertainty principle, i.e., its localization in the space domain as well as in the momentum domain is calculated and compared to the well-known Shannon scaling function. Surprisingly, they possess the same localization in space although one is highly oscillating whereas the other one shows no oscillatory behavior. Moreover, the Bernstein scaling function turns out to be the first bandlimited scaling function known to the literature whose uncertainty product tends to the minimal value 1.

We introduce splines for the approximation of harmonic functions on a 3-dimensional ball. Those splines are combined with a multiresolution concept. More precisely, at each step of improving the approximation we add more data and, at the same time, reduce the hat-width of the used spline basis functions. Finally, a convergence theorem is proved. One possible application, that is discussed in detail, is the reconstruction of the Earth´s density distribution from gravitational data obtained at a satellite orbit. This is an exponentially ill-posed problem where only the harmonic part of the density can be recovered since its orthogonal complement has the potential 0. Whereas classical approaches use a truncated singular value decomposition (TSVD) with the well-known disadvantages like the non-localizing character of the used spherical harmonics and the bandlimitedness of the solution, modern regularization techniques use wavelets allowing a localized reconstruction via convolutions with kernels that are only essentially large in the region of interest. The essential remaining drawback of a TSVD and the wavelet approaches is that the integrals (i.e. the inner product in case of a TSVD and the convolution in case of wavelets) are calculated on a spherical orbit, which is not given in reality. Thus, simplifying modelling assumptions, that certainly include a modelling error, have to be made. The splines introduced here have the important advantage, that the given data need not be located on a sphere but may be (almost) arbitrarily distributed in the outer space of the Earth. This includes, in particular, the possibility to mix data from different satellite missions (different orbits, different derivatives of the gravitational potential) in the calculation of the Earth´s density distribution. Moreover, the approximating splines can be calculated at varying resolution scales, where the differences for increasing the resolution can be computed with the introduced spline-wavelet technique.