France: According to the Gravity Map of the Earth, developed by the European Space Agency’s GOCE satellite, gravity is the strongest in two areas on the planet: In a fairly large area in the Atlantic Ocean which stretches from the north of Iceland and all the way south to the Azores, and in an area north of Australia from the Philippines and eastwards to the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific. The gravity is weakest in southern India and in a large area in the Indian Ocean.
The map shows the earth resembling a potato. Those interested in earthquakes are also poring over the Goce results. The giant jolt that struck Japan last month and Chile last year occurred because huge masses of rock suddenly moved. “Even though these quakes resulted from big movements in the Earth, at the altitude of the satellite the signals are very small. But we should still seem them in the data,” said Dr Johannes Bouman from the German Geodetic Research Institute (DGFI).
The model at the top of this page is what researchers refer to as a geoid. A BBC report has explained this Map in a very eloquent way. It mentioned, “If you were to place a ball anywhere on this potato, it would not roll because, from the ball’s perspective, there is no up or down on the undulating surface. It is the shape the oceans would adopt if there were no winds, no currents and no tides. The differences have been magnified nearly 10,000 times to show up as they do in the new model. Even so, a boat off the coast of Europe (bright yellow) can sit 180m higher than a boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean (deep blue) and still be on the same level plane. This is the trick gravity plays on Earth because the space rock on which we live is not a perfect sphere and its interior mass is not evenly distributed.”