Reduction of the 59-day error signal in the Mean Sea Level derived from TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 and Jason-2 data with the latest FES and GOT ocean tide models
Lionel Zawadzki1, Michaël Ablain1, Loren Carrere1, Richard D. Ray2, Nikita P. Zelensky3, Florent Lyard4, Amandine Guillot5, and Nicolas Picot51Collecte Localisation Satellite (CLS), Ramonville Saint-Agne, France 2Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Greenbelt, MD USA 3SGT Inc., Greenbelt, MD USA 4Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales (LEGOS), Toulouse, France 5Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Toulouse, France
Received: 22 Apr 2016 – Accepted for review: 04 May 2016 – Discussion started: 25 May 2016
Abstract. Mean sea level (MSL) is a prominent indicator of climatic change (Ablain et al., 2015; Cazenave et al., 2014; Leuliette and Willis, 2011), and is therefore of great scientific and societal interest. Since the beginning of the altimeter mission TOPEX/Poseidon, followed by Jason-1 and Jason-2 on similar orbits, and many other missions on different orbits (ERS, EnviSat, etc.), MSL products became essential to the comprehension of Global ocean circulation.
Since early in the TOPEX/Poseidon mission (Nerem, 1995) a suspicious signal, having period near 59 days and amplitude of roughly 5 mm, was apparent in the GMSL record. Compared with the 4–5 mm amplitude of the annual signal (Minster et al., 1999), the suspicious 59-day signal has understandably attracted attention. Moreover, the same signal has been subsequently detected in Jason-1 and later Jason-2 MSLs. In 2010, it was the subject of a dedicated session at the Ocean Surface Topography Science Team (OSTST) meeting in Lisbon. The conclusions were this signal is the aliasing of a higher frequency error inherited from the tide model correction: the semi-diurnal wave S2. The source of this error was mainly attributed to TOPEX measurements which are assimilated in ocean tide models. When these models are used in the computation of TOPEX/Poseidon MSL, most of the error cancels. However, this error is communicated to Jason-1 and Jason-2 MSLs.
Since 2010, considerable efforts have been undertaken within the ocean tide community in order to correct ocean tide S2-waves from this error, particularly in the Goddard Ocean Tide (GOT) and Finite Element Solution (FES) latest versions. The present paper aims at assessing, quantifying and characterizing the reduction of the 58.77-day error thanks to the latest releases.
Zawadzki, L., Ablain, M., Carrere, L., Ray, R. D., Zelensky, N. P., Lyard, F., Guillot, A., and Picot, N.: Reduction of the 59-day error signal in the Mean Sea Level derived from TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 and Jason-2 data with the latest FES and GOT ocean tide models, Ocean Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/os-2016-19, 2016.