For geophysical applications, gravity is distinguished from gravitation. Gravity is defined as the resultant of gravitation and the centrifugal force caused by the Earth's rotation. The global mean sea surface is close to one of the equipotential surfaces of the geopotential of gravity. This equipotential surface, or surface of constant geopotential, is called the geoid.
For the purpose of satellite orbital mechanics, the geopotential is typically described by a series expansion into spherical harmonics (spectral representation). In this context the geopotential is taken as the potential of the gravitational field of the Earth, that is, leaving out the centrifugal potential.
How topographic smoothing contributes to differences between the eddy flows simulated by sigma- and geopotential-coordinate models
Jan 01, 2002; ABSTRACT The characteristics of the mesoscale turbulence simulated at a resolution of Y3' by a sigma-coordinate model (SPEM) and...
Trends in Antarctic geopotential height and temperature: A comparison between radiosonde and NCEP-NCAR reanalysis data
Mar 15, 2002; ABSTRACT A comparison of 40-yr (1960-99) trends in Antarctic geopotential height and temperature from quality controlled...