Performance of modern tide gauges: towards mm-level accuracy
Keywords:radar, pressure gauges, sea level changes, sea level measurement, tide gauges, Kerguelen Islands, GPS buoy
Considerable efforts are being made worldwide to upgrade tide gauge networks using new technologies. Because of the unique location of the Kerguelen Islands, the measurement of sea level there has received particular attention, with up to four systems equipped with modern sensors functioning simultaneously (two pressure tide gauges, a radar tide gauge, and a GPS-equipped buoy). We analysed and compared the sea level data obtained with these systems from 2003 to 2010, together with a time series of tide pole observations. This is the first time that a multi-comparison study with tide gauges has been undertaken over such a long time span and that the stability of modern radar tide gauges has been examined. The multi-comparison enabled us to evaluate the performance of the tide gauges in several frequency ranges, identify errors and estimate their magnitude. The drift of the pressure sensors (up to 8.0 mm/yr) was found to be one of the most relevant sources of systematic error. Other sources of difference such as clock drift, scale error and different locations of the instruments were also detected. After correcting the time series of sea level for these errors we estimated an upper bound for the radar instrumental error in field condition at ~0.3 cm.
Blasi C.J. 2009. A new technology for the measurement of the sea level and the sea state. Environ. Geol. 57: 331-336. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00254-008-1632-2
Fichen L., Tiphaneau P. 2008. Mission Nivmer 09, NIVMER research cruises reports. Retrieved January 10, 2011, from http://www.legos.obs-mip.fr/en/observations/rosame/communication/rapports/doc/nivmer09.pdf
IOC. 1997. Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS) - Implementation plan. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, Technical Series No. 50, Paris.
IOC. 2002. Manual on sea-level measurement and interpretation. Volume III: Reappraisals and recommendations as of the year 2000. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, IOC Manuals and Guides No.14, vol. III, Paris.
IOC. 2006. Manual on Sea-level Measurements and Interpretation, Volume IV: An update to 2006. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, IOC Manuals and Guides No.14, vol. IV, Paris.
Martín B., Pérez B., Álvarez Fanjul E. 2005. The ESEAS-RI sea level test station: reliability and accuracy of different tide gauges. Int. Hydrogr. Rev. 6: 44-53.
Martín Míguez B., Le Roy R., Wöppelmann G. 2008a. The use of radar tide gauges to measure the sea level along the French coast. J. Coast. Res. 24: 61-68. http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/06-0787.1
Martin Miguez B., Testut L., Wöppelmann G. 2008b. The Van de Casteele test revisited: an efficient approach to tide gauge error characterization. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. 25: 1238-1244. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2007JTECHO554.1
Merrifield M., Aarup T., Allen A., Aman A., Bradshaw E., Caldwell P., Fernandes R.M., Hayashibara H., Hernandez F., Kilonsky B., Martin Miguez B., Mitchum G., Pérez Gómez B., Rickards L., Rosen D., Schöne T., Szabados M., Testut L., Woodworth P., Wöppelmann G., Zavala J. 2010. The Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS). In: J. Hall, D.E. Harrison and D. Stammer (eds.), Proceedings of the "OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society" Conference (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009. ESA Publication WPP-306 (in press).
Testut L., Wöppelmann G., Simon B., Téchiné P. 2006. The sea level at Port-aux-Français, Kerguelen Island, from 1949 to the present. Ocean Dyn. 56: 464-472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10236-005-0056-8
Testut L., Miguez B.M., Wöppelmann G., Tiphaneau P., Pouvreau N., Karpytchev M. 2010. Sea level at Saint Paul Island, southern Indian Ocean, from 1874 to the present. J. Geophys. Res. 115: C12028. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010JC006404
Watson C., Coleman R., Handsworth R. 2008. Coastal tide gauge calibration: a case study at Macquarie Island using GPS buoy techniques. J. Coast. Res. 24: 1071-1079. http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/07-0844.1
Watts D.R., Kontoyiannis H. 1990. Deep-Ocean Bottom Pressure Measurement: Drift Removal and Performance. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. 7: 296-306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0426(1990)007<0296:DOBPMD>2.0.CO;2
Woodworth P.L., Vassie J.M., Spencer R., Smith D.E. 1996. Precise datum control for pressure tide gauges. Mar. Geod. 19: 1-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01490419609388068
Woodworth P.L., Smith D.E. 2003. A one-year comparison of radar and bubbler tide gauges at Liverpool. Int. Hydrogr. Rev. 4: 2-9.
Woodworth P.L., Aman A., Aarup T. 2007. Sea level monitoring in Africa. Afr. J. Mar. Sci., 29: 321-330. http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/AJMS.2007.29.3.2.332
Woodworth P.L., Rickards L.J., Pérez B. 2009. A survey of European sea level infrastructure. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 9: 927-934. http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/nhess-9-927-2009
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2012 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.© CSIC. Manuscripts published in both the printed and online versions of this Journal are the property of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, and quoting this source is a requirement for any partial or full reproduction.
All contents of this electronic edition, except where otherwise noted, are distributed under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International” (CC BY 4.0) License. You may read here the basic information and the legal text of the license. The indication of the CC BY 4.0 License must be expressly stated in this way when necessary.
Self-archiving in repositories, personal webpages or similar, of any version other than the published by the Editor, is not allowed.