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Correlation between sea surface topography and bathymetry in shallow shelf waters in the Western Mediterranean

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Rodríguez Velasco, Gema and Sevilla de Lerma, Miguel Jesús (2002) Correlation between sea surface topography and bathymetry in shallow shelf waters in the Western Mediterranean. Geophysical Journal International, 150 (3). pp. 573-587. ISSN 0956-540X

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-246X.2002.01710.x/pdf


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Abstract

In this paper, gravimetric and altimetric data are used to assess an estimation of the sea surface topography in the Western Mediterranean Sea. This is a complex area from different points of view, due to the presence of several islands, coastal lines, shallow waters and a peculiar hydrologic equilibrium due to its proximity to the Atlantic water exchange area. First, a gravimetric geoid was computed using the least-squares collocation (LSC) procedure with the classical remove-restore technique. We also present a local mean sea surface generated from repeat ERS-1 altimeter data fitted to TOPEX. We chose this satellite because it offers a better spatial resolution than the TOPEX data. The time span used in the computations is one year. This is a useful interval for averaging out the regular seasonal variations, which are very large in this area. We present the comparisons between the gravimetric geoidal heights and the adjusted sea surface. This is a way to obtain a rough estimation of the sea surface topography (SST) since we also include the errors in the two surfaces and other oceanic signals. The differences obtained are physically reasonable with a mean of 17 cm and standard deviation (s.d.) of 39 cm. A significant similarity is observed between the features reproduced by these differences and the bathymetry in the area, suggesting some sort of correlation between both magnitudes for the studied region. If we accept such correlation, the SST may be described as a function of depth. This procedure lets us filter out the short wavelength part of the geoid from the first SST estimation.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Circulation; altimetry; ERS-1; geoid; LSC; satellite geodesy; sea surface topography
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Geophysics
ID Code:19962
Deposited On:14 Feb 2013 19:02
Last Modified:30 Aug 2018 07:52

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