Improving Surface Geostrophic Current from a GOCE-Derived Mean Dynamic Topography Using Edge-Enhancing Diffusion Filtering

J. M. Sanchez-Reales, Ole Baltazar Andersen, M. I. Vigo

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    With increased geoid resolution provided by the gravity and steady-state ocean circulation explorer (GOCE) mission, the ocean's mean dynamic topography (MDT) can be now estimated with an accuracy not available prior to using geodetic methods. However, an altimetric-derived MDT still needs filtering in order to remove short wavelength noise unless integrated methods are used in which the three quantities are determined simultaneously using appropriate covariance functions. We studied nonlinear anisotropic diffusive filtering applied to the oceanA ' s MDT and a new approach based on edge-enhancing diffusion (EED) filtering is presented. EED filters enable controlling the direction and magnitude of the filtering, with subsequent enhancement of computations of the associated surface geostrophic currents (SGCs). Applying this method to a smooth MDT and to a noisy MDT, both for a region in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, we found that EED filtering provides similar estimation of the current velocities in both cases, whereas a non-linear isotropic filter (the Perona and Malik filter) returns results influenced by local residual noise when a difficult case is tested. We found that EED filtering preserves all the advantages that the Perona and Malik filter have over the standard linear isotropic Gaussian filters. Moreover, EED is shown to be more stable and less influenced by outliers. This suggests that the EED filtering strategy would be preferred given its capabilities in controlling/preserving the SGCs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)871-884
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Edge enhancing diffusion
    • GOCE
    • Mean dynamic topography filtering
    • Geostrophic currents


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