The Taiwanese government has established a complete tide gauge network along the coastline for accurate sea-level monitoring. In this study, we analyze several factors impacting the determination of absolute or geocentric sea-level trends—including ocean tides, inverted barometer effect, datum shift, and vertical land motion—using tide gauge records near Taiwan, from 1993–2015. The results show that datum shifts and vertical land motion have a significant impact on sea-level trends with a respective average contribution of 7.3 and 8.0 mm/yr, whereas ocean tides and inverted barometer effects have a relatively minor impact, representing 9% and 14% of the observed trend, respectively. These results indicate that datum shifts and vertical land motion effects have to be removed in the tide gauge records for accurate sea-level estimates. Meanwhile, the estimated land motions show that the southwestern plain has larger subsidence rates, for example, the Boziliao, Dongshi, and Wengang tide gauge stations exhibit a rate of 24–31 mm/yr as a result of groundwater pumping. We find that the absolute sea-level trends around Taiwan derived from tide gauges or satellite altimetry agree well with each other, and are estimated to be 2.2 mm/yr for 1993–2015, which is significantly slower than the global average sea-level rise trend of 3.2 mm/yr from satellite altimeters. Finally, a recent hiatus in sea-level rise in this region exhibits good agreement with the interannual and decadal variabilities associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
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