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Towards using satellite altimetry for the observation of coastal dynamics.

Florence Birol(1) , Laurent Roblou(2) , Florent Lyard(2) , William Llovel(3) , Fabien Durand(3) , Lionel Renault(3) , Boris Dewitte(3) , Rosemary Morrow(1) , and Yves Menard(4)

(1) LEGOS/CTOH, 14 av E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
(2) LEGOS/POC, 14 av E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
(3) LEGOS, 14 av. E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
(4) CNES/CTOH, 14 av. E. belin, 31400 Toulouse, France


Today, because of land contamination on the altimeter and radiometer signals and poorly adapted corrections, the use of standard satellite altimetric products in coastal zones is challenging. Moreover, the space-time sampling of the satellites is generally too low to capture the variability of coastal ocean processes. In the future, a new generation of altimetric missions will better fulfill the requirements of coastal domains. In parallel, we need to develop improved post-treatment altimetric data for coastal purposes and to analyse how best to combine information from altimetry with other coastal observations (tide gauges, coastal radar data, ...). The objective of this study is to determine to what extent coastal processes can be observed with satellite altimetry. Therefore, we have used a new data processing approach developed in the context of the ALBICOCCA project (ALtimeter-Based Investigations in COrsica, Capraia and Contiguous Area). This approach uses improved local modelling of environmental corrections (MOG2D solutions), new experimental editing criteria and an inversion method to derive the mean sea surface. It substantially increases the number of valid data in the coastal domain and their accuracy. So far, we have used this original approach to reprocess all the TOPEX/POSEIDON altimetric data in three experimental areas: the NW Mediterranean Sea, the North Indian Ocean and the region of the Humboldt current system. We present the validated results and show some analyses of the kind of coastal information contained in these datasets.


Full paper

Workshop poster


                 Last modified: 07.10.03