Satellite altimetry research at the Institute of Ocean Sciences
Josef Cherniawsky(1) , James Gower(1) , Michael Foreman(1) , William Crawford(1) , and Patrick Cummins(1)
Institute of Ocean Sciences,
P.O. Box 6000,
Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2,
An overview of close to 30 years of research in satellite altimetry at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Canada and its applications in oceanography is presented, from early work with GEOS-3 and Geosat altimeters up to more recent use of altimeter data from TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P), ERS-1,2, Jason-1 and Envisat satellites. The subjects covered include: (1) comparison of wave heights from GEOS-3 with observations at Station Papa and of wave and wind data from T/P with moored buoys off the West Coast of Canada; (2) tracking and modelling of Haida and Sitka eddies, of their formation and effects on ocean productivity using data from Geosat, T/P, ERS and Jason-1; (3) calculation of seasonal circulation and of changes in sea level from T/P and ERS; (4) assimilation of T/P-derived tidal constituents in high-resolution tidal models and calculation of tidal dissipation and resonances in enclosed seas; (5) observations and modelling of internal tides from T/P-derived constituents; (6) studies of high-latitude transports through Arctic channels, such as Bering Strait; (7) modelling the first leading principal component for the NE Pacific circulation and using it to monitor the low-frequency variability; and (8) detection of tsunami waves using altimeter data from Jason-1, T/P and Envisat satellites.