29 Mar 2021

29 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

NorthSEAL: A new Dataset of Sea Level Changes in the North Sea from Satellite Altimetry

Denise Dettmering1, Felix L. Müller1, Julius Oelsmann1, Marcello Passaro1, Christian Schwatke1, Marco Restano2, Jérôme Benveniste3, and Florian Seitz1 Denise Dettmering et al.
  • 1Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut der Technischen Universität München (DGFI-TUM), Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 Munich, Germany
  • 2SERCO, c/o ESRIN, Largo Galileo Galilei, Frascati, Italy
  • 3European Space Agency (ESA-ESRIN), Largo Galileo Galilei, Frascati, Italy

Abstract. Information on sea level and its temporal and spatial variability is of great importance for various scientific, societal and economic issues. This article reports about a new sea level dataset for the North Sea (named NorthSEAL) of monthly sea level anomalies (SLA), absolute sea level trends and sea level mean annual amplitudes over the period 1995–2019. Uncertainties and quality flags are provided together with the data. The dataset has been created from multi-mission cross-calibrated altimetry data, preprocessed 5 with coastal dedicated approaches and gridded with innovative methods to a 6–8 km wide triangular mesh. The comparison of SLA and tide gauge time series shows a good consistency with average correlations of 0.85 and maximum correlations of 0.93. The improvement with respect to existing global gridded altimetry solutions amounts to 8–10 %, and it is most pronounced in complicated coastal environments such as river mouths or regions sheltered by islands. The differences in trends at tide gauge locations depend on the vertical land motion model used to correct relative sea level trends. The best 10 consistency with a median difference of 0.04 ± 1.15 mm/year is reached by applying a recent glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) model. With the presented sea level dataset, for the first time, a regionally optimized product for the entire North Sea is made available. It will enable further investigations of ocean processes, sea level projections and studies on coastal adaptation measures. The NorthSEAL data is available at (Müller et al., 2021).

Denise Dettmering et al.

Status: open (until 24 May 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-103', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Apr 2021 reply

Denise Dettmering et al.

Data sets

NorthSEAL: Gridded Sea Level Anomalies and Trends for the North Sea from Multi-Mission Satellite Altimetry Müller, Felix L., Oelsmann, Julius, Dettmering, Denise, Passaro, Marcello, Schwatke, Christian, Restano, Marco, Benveniste, Jérôme, and Seitz, Florian

Denise Dettmering et al.


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Short summary
In this study, a new gridded altimetry-based regional sea level dataset for the North Sea is presented, named NorthSEAL. It is based on long-term multi-mission cross-calibrated altimetry data, consistently pre-processed with coastal dedicated algorithms. On a 6–8 km wide triangular mesh, NorthSEAL provides time series of monthly sea level anomalies as well as sea level trends and annual amplitudes for the period 1995–2019 for various applications.