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Improving the geoid: Combining altimetry and mean dynamic topography in the California coastal ocean

TitleImproving the geoid: Combining altimetry and mean dynamic topography in the California coastal ocean
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMazloff MR, Gille ST, Cornuelle B.
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published2014/12
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000348916500035
Keywordsaltimetry; current system; dynamic ocean topography; estimation; general-circulation; geoid; goce; gravity; model; satellite altimetry; Sea surface height; state; topex/poseidon; variability

Satellite gravity mapping missions, altimeters, and other platforms have allowed the Earth's geoid to be mapped over the ocean to a horizontal resolution of approximately 100km with an uncertainty of less than 10cm. At finer resolution this uncertainty increases to greater than 10cm. Achieving greater accuracy requires accurate estimates of the dynamic ocean topography (DOT). In this study two DOT estimates for the California Current System with uncertainties less than 10cm are used to solve for a geoid correction field. The derived field increases the consistency between the DOTs and along-track altimetric observations, suggesting it is a useful correction to the gravitational field. The correction is large compared to the dynamic ocean topography, with a magnitude of 15cm and significant structure, especially near the coast. The results are evidence that modern high-resolution dynamic ocean topography products can be used to improve estimates of the geoid.

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