Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2022-181
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2022-181
 
05 Jul 2022
05 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Improved global sea surface height and currents maps from remote sensing and in situ observations

Maxime Ballarotta1, Clément Ubelmann2, Pierre Veillard1, Pierre Prandi1, Hélène Etienne1, Sandrine Mulet1, Yannice Faugère1, Gérald Dibarboure3, Rosemary Morrow4, and Nicolas Picot3 Maxime Ballarotta et al.
  • 1Collecte Localisation Satellites, 31520 Ramonville-Saint-Agne, France
  • 2Datlas, 38400 Saint Martin d’Hères, France
  • 3Centre National d'Études Spatiales, 31400 Toulouse, France
  • 4Centre de Topographie des Océans et de l’Hydrosphère, Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiale, CNRS, CNES, IRD, Université Toulouse III, Toulouse, France

Abstract. We present a new gridded sea surface height and current dataset produced by combining observations from nadir altimeters and drifting buoys. This product is based on a multiscale & multivariate mapping approach that offers the possibility to improve the physical content of gridded products by combining the data from various platforms and in resolving a broader spectrum of ocean surface dynamic than in the current operational mapping system. The dataset covers the entire global ocean and spans from 2016-07-01 to 2020-06-30. The multiscale approach decomposes the observed signal into different physical contributions. In the present study, we simultaneously estimate the mesoscale ocean circulations as well as part of the equatorial wave dynamics (e.g., tropical instability and Poincaré waves). The multivariate approach is able to exploit the geostrophic signature resulting from the synergy of altimetry and drifter observations. Sea level observations in Arctic leads are also used in the merging to improve the surface circulation in this poorly mapped region. A quality assessment of this new product is proposed against the DUACS operational product distributed in the Copernicus Marine Service. We show that the multiscale & multivariate mapping approach offers promising perspectives for reconstructing the ocean surface circulation: leads observations contribute to improve the coverage in delivering gap free maps in the Arctic; drifters observations help to refine the mapping in regions of intense dynamics where the temporal sampling must be accurate enough to properly map the rapid mesoscale dynamics; overall, the geostrophic circulation is better mapped in the new product, with mapping errors significantly reduced in regions of high variability and in the equatorial band; the effective resolution of this new product is hence between 5 % and 10 % finer than the Copernicus product.

Maxime Ballarotta et al.

Status: open (until 14 Sep 2022)

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Maxime Ballarotta et al.

Data sets

Gridded Sea Level Height and geostrophic velocities computed with Multiscale Interpolation combining altimetry and drifters Maxime Ballarotta, C. Ubelmann, P. Veillard, P. Prandi, H. Etienne, S. Mulet, Y. Faugère, G. Dibarboure, R. Morrow & N. Picot https://doi.org/10.24400/527896/a01-2022.009

Maxime Ballarotta et al.

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Short summary
We present a new gridded sea surface height and current dataset produced by combining observations from nadir altimeters and drifting buoys. This product is based on a multiscale & multivariate mapping approach that offers the possibility to improve the physical content of gridded products by combining the data from various platforms and in resolving a broader spectrum of ocean surface dynamic than in the current operational mapping system. A quality assessment of this new product is presented.