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Hydrographic Vertical Separation Surfaces (HyVSEPs) for the Tidal Waters of Canada

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Since the advent of Global Navigation Satellite Systems, it has been possible to perform hydrographic survey reductions through the ellipsoid, which has the potential to simplify operations and improve bathymetric products. This technique requires a spatially continuous separation surface connecting chart datum (CD) to a geodetic ellipsoid. The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), with support from the Canadian Geodetic Survey, has developed a new suite of such surfaces, termed Hydrographic Vertical Separations Surfaces, or HyVSEPs, for CD and seven tidal levels. They capture the spatial variability of the tidal datum and levels between tide gauges and offshore using semiempirical models coupling observations at tide stations with relative sea-level rise estimates, dynamic ocean model solutions, satellite altimetry, and a geoid model. HyVSEPs are available for all tidal waters of Canada, covering over seven million square kilometers of ocean and more than 200,000 kilometers of shoreline. This document provides an overview of the CHS's modeling approach, tools, methods, and procedures.

The HyVSEP for CD defines the new hydrographic datum for the tidal waters of Canada. HyVSEPs for other tidal levels are fundamental for coastal studies, climate change adaptation and the definition of the Canadian shoreline and offshore boundaries. HyVSEPs for inland waters are not discussed.
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Keywords: Altimetry; GNSS; geodetic datum; geoid; hydrography; modeling; nautical chart; tidal constituent

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Canadian Geodetic Survey, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 2: Canadian Hydrographic Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada 3: Canadian Hydrographic Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Mont Joli, Quebec, Canada 4: Canadian Hydrographic Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada 5: Canadian Hydrographic Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Bington, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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