Esselborn, S.; Schöne, T.; Illigner, J.; Weiß, R.; Artz, T.; Huang, X. Validation of Recent Altimeter Missions at Non-Dedicated Tide Gauge Stations in the Southeastern North Sea. Remote Sens.2022, 14, 236.
Esselborn, S.; Schöne, T.; Illigner, J.; Weiß, R.; Artz, T.; Huang, X. Validation of Recent Altimeter Missions at Non-Dedicated Tide Gauge Stations in the Southeastern North Sea. Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 236.
Consistent calibration and monitoring is a basic prerequisite for providing reliable time series of global and regional sea level variations from altimetry. The precision of sea level measurements and regional biases for six altimeter missions (Jason-1/2/3, Envisat, Saral, Sentinel-3A) is assessed at eleven GNSS-controlled tide gauge stations in the German Bight (SE North Sea) for the period 2002 to 2019. The gauges are partly located at the open water, partly at the coast close to mudflats. The altimetry is extracted at virtual stations with distances from 2 to 24 km from the gauges. The processing is optimized for the region and adjusted for the comparison with instantaneous tide gauges readings. An empirical correction is developed to account for mean height gradients and slight differences of the tidal dynamics between gauge and altimetry which improves the agreement between the two data sets by 15-75%. The precision of the altimeters is depending on location and mission and is shown to be at least 1.8 to 3.7 cm based on an assumed precision of 2 cm for the gauges. The accuracy of the regional mission biases is strongly dependent on the mean sea surface heights near the stations. The most consistent biases are obtained based on the CLS2011 model with mission dependent accuracies from 1.3 to 3.4 cm. Hence, the GNSS-controlled tide gauges operated operationally by WSV might complement the calibration and monitoring activities at dedicated CalVal stations.
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