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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2016-19
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2016-19
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 25 May 2016

Research article | 25 May 2016

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS). A final paper in OS is not foreseen.

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 Picot5 Lionel Zawadzki et al.
  • 1Collecte 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

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.

Lionel Zawadzki et al.
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Lionel Zawadzki et al.
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Short summary
Mean sea level (MSL) is a prominent indicator of climatic change, and is therefore of great scientific and societal interest. Since the beginning of the altimeter mission TOPEX/Poseidon and its successors Jason-1 and Jason-2, MSL products became essential for climate applications. Since 1995, a suspicious signal is apparent in the corresponding MSL record. Since 2010, scientific teams have been working on reducing this error. This paper assesses, characterizes and quantifies this reduction.
Mean sea level (MSL) is a prominent indicator of climatic change, and is therefore of great...
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