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Sensors 2006, 6(3), 235-248; doi:10.3390/s6030235

A First Comparison of Simultaneous Sea Level Measurements from Envisat, GFO, Jason-1, and TOPEX/Poseidon

*  and
Key Laboratory of Ocean Remote Sensing, Ministry of Education, Ocean Remote Sensing Institute, Ocean University of China, 5 Yushan Road, Qingdao 266003, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 July 2005 / Accepted: 10 February 2006 / Published: 17 March 2006
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Altimetry: New Sensors and New Application)
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The multiple altimeter missions have not only advanced our knowledge of oceancirculation, ice sheet topography, and global climate, but also improved the accuracy ofaltimetric measurements by cross-calibration and validation. In this paper, one year’ssimultaneous maps of sea level anomaly (MSLA) data obtained from four altimeters,Envisat, Geosat Follow-On (GFO), Jason-1, and TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P), have beencompiled for a preliminary comparison. First, the discrepancy in global geographicaldistribution of each product relative to the merged MSLA field is analyzed and its signalretrieval capability is discussed. Second, the space/time variability of each discrepancy inthe Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Northern Hemisphere, SouthernHemisphere, and global ocean is studied. Third, each discrepancy as a function of latitude,longitude, and merged MSLA is presented. The results show that Jason-1 is the best single-mission for mapping large scale sea level variation, while T/P in its new orbit presents thepoorest estimation of SLA due to the short period (from cycle 369 to 403) used to determinethe mean profile. A clear understanding of each product discrepancy is necessary for ameaningful combination or merging of multi-altimeter data, optimal product selection, aswell as for their assimilation into numerical models.
Keywords: sea level anomaly; altimeter data; comparison. sea level anomaly; altimeter data; comparison.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhang, C.; Chen, G. A First Comparison of Simultaneous Sea Level Measurements from Envisat, GFO, Jason-1, and TOPEX/Poseidon. Sensors 2006, 6, 235-248.

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