The International Geodynamics and Earth Tide Service (IGETS) was established in 2015 by the International Association of Geodesy (IAG). IGETS continues the activities of the Global Geodynamics Project (GGP, 1997-2015) to provide support to geodetic and geophysical research activities using superconducting gravimeter (SG) data within the context of an international network.
The Geodetic Observatory Wettzell (Germany) is operated jointly by the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and was established in 1972. Continuous temporal gravity and atmospheric pressure time series from the different SGs is made available to the IGETS data base hosted by ISDC (Information System and Data Center) at GFZ.
The Geodetic Observatory Wettzel is located on a mountain ridge of the Bavarian Forest (longitude: 12.88 E, latitude: 49.10 N, height above MSL: 611 m). The crystalline basement of metamorphic rocks (Gneiss) in Wettzell is covered from bottom to top by weathering zones of fractured gneiss, saprolite, periglacial weathering layers and soil, with Cambisols making up the predominant soil type. The climate is temperate with mean annual precipitation of 995 mm and mean annual temperature of 7°C. Land cover in the surroundings of the observatory is dominated by a mosaic of grassland and forest, while grassland, gravel and sealed surfaces of roads and buildings alternateon the grounds of the observatory. Because of the remote, rural location the station is characterized by low environmental noise.
Since 1989, an almost uninterrupted time series of gravity and barometric pressure variations was acquired with different SGs. In 1993, a series of repeated measurements with different absolute gravimeters (AG) was started.
There are two gravity laboratories at station Wettzell: L1 and L2. L1 was built in 1988. It is an isolated solid building with 2 concrete pillars in separate rooms for SG and AG observations. Now each room is thermally stabilized by air-conditioning system. The new laboratory L2 is a well isolated solid building constructed in 2009. It provides 2 concrete pillars in separate rooms for SG observations and 4 concrete pillars for AG observations and comparisons in a third room. All rooms are thermally stabilized by air-conditioning systems.
From November 1999 to October 2010 the dual sphere SG CD029 was operated in L1 and since June 2010 the dual sphere SG030 (after upgrade) is recording in L2. Since March 2011 the dual sphere SG029 (after upgrade) is recording data in L1 again. These data are available at the IGETS database. Earlier, TT60 (1989/09-1995/06) and SG103 (1996/04-1997/07) were installed at L1.
Due to the excellent stability of the station and the facilities to inter-compare different AGs, the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell was developed as a regional comparison site which serves as a reference for the national German gravity reference system.
At the area of the station, an extensive meteorological (precipitation, air temperature, humidity, wind speed and net radiation) and hydrological (ground water, soil moisture, including a weighing lysimeter) monitoring system is installed and operated in close cooperation with GFZ Potsdam. In addition, data from the superconducting gravimeter iGrav006 operated by GFZ Potsdam from March 2015 until March 2017 are available (Güntner et al., 2017: http://doi.org/10.5880/igets.we.gfz.l1.001).