Living Planet   


Transports and sea level slopes in high resolution ocean models

Dr Keith Haines(1)and Mr Rory Bingham(1)

(1) Reading University, 3, Earley Gate, RG6 6AL, Reading, United Kingdom


One key objective of GOCE is to provide a geoid accurate enough to be helpful in determining the ocean dynamic topography and thereafter information of ocean mass and heat transports. The current best available Mean Dynamic Topographies (MDTs) are probably those provided by ocean circulation models with assimilated hydrographic data, which have the effect of correcting the model biases. We have compared a number of different model/assimilation products as part of the EU GOCINA project, focussing on the NE Atlantic between Scotland and Greenland, with the models ranging from 1 degree to 1/9 degree spatial resolution. Very consistent results are found for the MDTs over this region giving some confidence that this is a good way of deriving MDT products. Comparisons at different length scales will be discussed.

The relationships between transports and sea surface slopes in these models is then examined, again in the GOCINA region of the NE Atlantic, to estimate how improved sea surface slopes give transport information. Considerable variability occurs in dynamic topography on multiannual timescales requiring the concept of a mean dynamic topography to specify a particular period. The relationship between slopes and transports at different locations and frequencies of variability will be reported. Work within the GOCINA project is aimed at quantifying the uncertainty in MDT estimates in order to use model derived MDTs in combination with altimetric sea level and geoid information to get the best possible consistent products.


Workshop presentation

Full paper

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry