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Dependence of Mean Sea Surfaces from Altimeter Data on the Reference Model Used

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A mean sea surface model is used as the frame of reference in processing altimeter data. This article focuses on ascertaining the extent to which results depend on the different mean sea surface models used. In particular, we have analyzed the results from the OSU95MSS and the CLS_SHOMv.98.2 models in an area in the North Atlantic Ocean comprising the Canary and Azores Islands. Special attention has been paid to data editing and several criteria were proposed. The amount of detected data is quite small because we used a well corrected data set. However, it was enough to show important relations between the applied criteria and the kind of area. Therefore we analyzed the best way to apply these criteria according to the areas where the points have been found. Singular areas related to several factors have been detected by all the suggested criteria. In particular, rough sea bottom features, dynamic circulation, and amphidromic points of the tidal waves, among others. As a result of this analysis, we have not considered it appropriate to remove all the detected points. Two time-averaged and corrected mean sea surfaces were determined in the test area.
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Keywords: altimeter data; amphidrome; cross-over adjustment; mean sea surface model

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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