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Sea-Level Variations Measured by the New Altimetry Mission SARAL/AltiKa and its Validation Based on Spatial Patterns and Temporal Curves Using Jason-2, Tide Gauge Data and an Overview of the Annual Sea Level Budget

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High-precision satellite altimeters help in measuring the variations in sea level since the early 1990s. After a number of such successful altimetry missions such as Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1, Jason-2, and Envisat, SARAL/AltiKa, a high resolution altimetry mission based on the Ka frequency band that can also cover high latitudinal zones, was launched in February 2013. Even though the data set available from this recent mission is not yet suitable for climate research owing to its short duration, in this study we perform a preliminary validation of SARAL/AltiKa sea-level data. The first part of the validation is the comparison of SARAL/AltiKa and Jason-2 sea-level data between March 2013 and August 2014 in terms of temporal mean spatial pattern. Comparisons in terms of global mean sea-level time series and latitudinal band-based mean time series are also performed. The second part of the validation is the comparison of the SARAL/AltiKa sea-level based time series with several tide gauge records covering the period of our study. Finally, an analysis of the annual sea-level budget with SARAL/AltiKa data, steric sea level, and ocean mass is performed. Results of these preliminary comparisons show good agreement with other sea-level data.
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Keywords: Jason-2; SARAL/AltiKa; annual sea level budget; preliminary validation; tide gauges

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiale (LEGOS), Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Toulouse, France 2: Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), Ramonville-St.Agne, France

Publication date: September 10, 2015

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