Sensors 2006, 6(3), 131-163; doi:10.3390/s6030131

Impact of Altimeter Data Processing on Sea Level Studies

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Received: 28 July 2005; Accepted: 3 March 2006 / Published: 6 March 2006
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Altimetry: New Sensors and New Application)
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Abstract: This study addresses the impact of satellite altimetry data processing on sea levelstudies at regional scale, with emphasis on the influence of various geophysical correctionsand satellite orbit on the structure of the derived interannual signal and sea level trend. Thework focuses on the analysis of TOPEX data for a period of over twelve years, for threeregions in the North Atlantic: Tropical (0o≤φ≤25o), Sub-Tropical (25o≤φ≤50o) and Sub-Arctic (50o≤φ≤65o). For this analysis corrected sea level anomalies with respect to a meansea surface model have been derived from the GDR-Ms provided by AVISO by applyingvarious state-of-the-art models for the geophysical corrections. Results show that sea leveltrend determined from TOPEX altimetry is dependent on the adopted models for the majorgeophysical corrections. The main effects come from the sea state bias (SSB), and from theapplication or not of the inverse barometer (IB) correction. After an appropriate modellingof the TOPEX A/B bias, the two analysed SSB models induce small variations in sea leveltrend, from 0.0 to 0.2 mm/yr, with a small latitude dependence. The difference in sea leveltrend determined by a non IB-corrected series and an IB-corrected one has a strong regionaldependence with large differences in the shape of the interannual signals and in the derivedlinear trends. The use of two different drift models for the TOPEX Microwave Radiometer(TMR) has a small but non negligible effect on the North Atlantic sea level trend of about0.1 mm/yr. The interannual signals of sea level time series derived with the NASA and theCNES orbits respectively, show a small departure in the middle of the series, which has noimpact on the derived sea level trend. These results strike the need for a continuousimprovement in the modelling of the various effects that influence the altimetermeasurement.
Keywords: Satellite Altimetry; Sea Level Change; Geophysical Corrections
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fernandes, M.J.; Barbosa, S.; Lázaro, C. Impact of Altimeter Data Processing on Sea Level Studies. Sensors 2006, 6, 131-163.

AMA Style

Fernandes MJ, Barbosa S, Lázaro C. Impact of Altimeter Data Processing on Sea Level Studies. Sensors. 2006; 6(3):131-163.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fernandes, M. J.; Barbosa, Susana; Lázaro, Clara. 2006. "Impact of Altimeter Data Processing on Sea Level Studies." Sensors 6, no. 3: 131-163.

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