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A new methodology for incorporating tide gauge data in sea surface topography models

Iliffe, JC; Ziebart, MK; Turner, JF; (2007) A new methodology for incorporating tide gauge data in sea surface topography models. MAR GEOD , 30 (4) 271 - 296. 10.1080/01490410701568384.

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As part of the Vertical Offshore Reference Frames (VORF) project sponsored by the U. K. Hydrographic Office, a new model for Sea Surface Topography (SST) around the British Isles has been developed. For offshore areas (greater than 30 km from the coast), this model is largely derived from satellite altimetry. However, its accuracy and level of detail have been enhanced in coastal areas by the inclusion of not only the 60 PSMSL tide gauges with long-term records around the coasts of the United Kingdom and Ireland but also some 385 gauges established at different epochs and for different observation spans by the U.K. Admiralty. All tide gauge data were brought into a common reference frame by a combination of datum models and direct GPS observations, but a more significant challenge was to bring all short-term sea level observations to an unbiased value at a common epoch. This was achieved through developing a spatial-temporal correlation model for the variations in mean sea level around the British Isles, which in turn meant that gauges with long-term observation spans could be used as control points to improve the accuracy of Admiralty gauges. It is demonstrated that the latter can contribute point observations of mean sea level (MSL) with a precision of 0.078 m. A combination of least squares collocation and interpolation was developed to merge the coastal point and offshore gridded data sets, with particular algorithms having to be developed for different configurations of coastal topology. The resulting model of sea surface topography is shown to present a smooth transition from inshore coastal areas to offshore zones. Further benefits of the techniques developed include an enhanced methodology for detecting datum discontinuities at permanent tide gauges.

Type: Article
Title: A new methodology for incorporating tide gauge data in sea surface topography models
DOI: 10.1080/01490410701568384
Keywords: sea surface topography, tide gauge data, mean sea level, satellite altimetry, BRITISH-ISLES, LEVEL, TRENDS
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10975
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