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Sensors 2006, 6(3), 235-248; doi:10.3390/s6030235
Article

A First Comparison of Simultaneous Sea Level Measurements from Envisat, GFO, Jason-1, and TOPEX/Poseidon

*  and
Key Laboratory of Ocean Remote Sensing, Ministry of Education, Ocean Remote Sensing Institute, Ocean University of China, 5 Yushan Road, Qingdao 266003, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 July 2005 / Accepted: 10 February 2006 / Published: 17 March 2006
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Altimetry: New Sensors and New Application)
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Abstract

The multiple altimeter missions have not only advanced our knowledge of oceancirculation, ice sheet topography, and global climate, but also improved the accuracy ofaltimetric measurements by cross-calibration and validation. In this paper, one year’ssimultaneous maps of sea level anomaly (MSLA) data obtained from four altimeters,Envisat, Geosat Follow-On (GFO), Jason-1, and TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P), have beencompiled for a preliminary comparison. First, the discrepancy in global geographicaldistribution of each product relative to the merged MSLA field is analyzed and its signalretrieval capability is discussed. Second, the space/time variability of each discrepancy inthe Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Northern Hemisphere, SouthernHemisphere, and global ocean is studied. Third, each discrepancy as a function of latitude,longitude, and merged MSLA is presented. The results show that Jason-1 is the best single-mission for mapping large scale sea level variation, while T/P in its new orbit presents thepoorest estimation of SLA due to the short period (from cycle 369 to 403) used to determinethe mean profile. A clear understanding of each product discrepancy is necessary for ameaningful combination or merging of multi-altimeter data, optimal product selection, aswell as for their assimilation into numerical models.
Keywords: sea level anomaly; altimeter data; comparison. sea level anomaly; altimeter data; comparison.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Zhang, C.; Chen, G. A First Comparison of Simultaneous Sea Level Measurements from Envisat, GFO, Jason-1, and TOPEX/Poseidon. Sensors 2006, 6, 235-248.

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