An Improved 20-Year Arctic Ocean Altimetric Sea Level Data Record

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    For ocean and climate research, it is essential to get long-term altimetric sea level data that is as accurate as possible. However, the accuracy of the altimetric data is frequently degraded in the interior of the Arctic Ocean due to the presence of seasonal or permanent sea ice. We have reprocessed ERS-1/2/Envisat satellite altimetry to develop an improved 20-year sea level dataset for the Arctic Ocean. We have developed both an along-track dataset and three-day gridded sea level anomaly (SLA) maps from September 1992 to April 2012. A major improvement in data coverage was gained by tailoring the standard altimetric editing criteria to Arctic conditions. The new reprocessed data has significant increased data coverage with between 4 and 10times the amount of data in regions such as the Beaufort Gyre region compared with AVISO and RADS datasets. This allows for a more accurate estimation of sea level changes from satellite altimetry in the Arctic Ocean. The reprocessed dataset exhibit a mean sea level trend of 2.1 +/- 1.3mm/year (without Glacial Isostatic Adjustment correction) covering the Arctic Ocean between 66 degrees N and 82 degrees N with significant higher spatial coherency in the ice-covered regions than the RADS and DUACS datasets.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMarine Geodesy
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)146-162
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • REMOTE
    • WIND
    • Arctic Ocean
    • sea level anomaly
    • sea level trend


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