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Modelling tides in the Arctic Ocean

11 July 2019

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We are all aware of the ebb and flow of the tide every day, but understanding tidal flow is important for a range of maritime activities and environmental monitoring, such as search and rescue operations, shipping routes and coastal erosion. The Arctic Ocean tides are particularly difficult to understand, but a new tidal model produced using ESA satellite data may shed some light on what is happening in this remote area.

In many areas of the ocean, direct in situ measurements of ocean tides are rare. This means that tidal models need to be developed to fill in the gaps in observations.

Owing to its location, the Arctic Ocean proves more difficult because of the scarcity of in situ observations, the frequent presence of sea ice and poorly-documented bathymetry. The bathymetry, or the depth and shape of the ocean floor, is crucial for studying ocean dynamics and for ship safety.

Arctide2017 is a high-resolution tidal atlas of the Arctic Ocean. Developed by NOVELTIS, DTU Space and LEGOS, it combines altimeter data from ESA's Envisat and CryoSat satellites into the most complete dataset used in the Arctic region to estimate tidal information.

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