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Sea state bias – 20 years on

Christine Gommenginger(1) and Meric Srokosz(1)

(1) National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, European Way, SO14 3ZH Southampton, United Kingdom


In the 20 years since the original paper by Srokosz (1986) on sea state bias (SSB), much work has been carried out – theoretical, computational, experimental and observational – on sea state bias. Yet, despite this and the progress that has been made, SSB remains an – possibly the – outstanding problem in the correction of satellite radar altimeter sea surface height measurements. In order to correctly estimate changes in sea surface height at the centimetric level it is necessary to take adequate account of the SSB error. In this paper we will review the last 20 year’s work on SSB, discuss the physics of the problem, investigate which sea state parameters best characterise SSB and discuss some new theoretical developments. We will conclude by summarising the state-of-the art and making recommendations for “where next with SSB?”


Workshop presentation

Full paper


                 Last modified: 07.10.03