Estimating the sea surface dynamic topography from Geosat altimetry data

Kaoru Ichikawa, Shiro Imawaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Optimal interpolation method is applied to Geosat altimetry data both to remove orbit error and to separate temporal mean sea surface dynamic topography (SSDT) from temporal fluctuations around the mean. Loss of long-wavelength oceanic signals at orbit error reduction procedure is smaller in this method thao that in conventional collinear methods, but the areal average height over the study domain is still removed as the orbit error. The fluctuation SSDT is quantitatively esaluated by sea level data from tide gauge stations at Japanese islands. The correlation coefficient of the two sea-level variations is 0.83 when the loss of the areal average is compensated by the seasonal variation of the areal average height determined from the climatological monthly-mean SSDT. In addition, the improvement of the geoid model by combined use of Seasat altimetry data and hydrographic data is validated through the estimated temporal mean SSDT. In a local area where hydrographic data contemporary with the Seasat mission exist, the geoid model has been significantls improved so that the absolute SSDT can be determined from combination of the altimetrs data and geoid model; the absolute SSDT describes the onset event of a quasi-stationary large meander of the Kuroshio south of Japan very wed. Outside this local area, however, errors of several tens of centimeters still remain in the improved geoid model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-68
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Oceanography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography


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