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Evaluation of ocean circulation models in the computation of the mean dynamic topography for geodetic applications. Case study in the Greek seas

Authors
  • Mintourakis, I.1
  • Panou, G.1
  • Paradissis, D.1
  • 1 National Technical University of Athens, 15780 , (Greece)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Geodetic Science
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Dec 31, 2019
Volume
9
Issue
1
Pages
154–173
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/jogs-2019-0015
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Precise knowledge of the oceanic Mean Dynamic Topography (MDT) is crucial for a number of geodetic applications, such as vertical datum unification and marine geoid modelling. The lack of gravity surveys over many regions of the Greek seas and the incapacity of the space borne gradiometry/gravity missions to resolve the small and medium wavelengths of the geoid led to the investigation of the oceanographic approach for computing the MDT. We compute two new regional MDT surfaces after averaging, for given epochs, the periodic gridded solutions of the Dynamic Ocean Topography (DOT) provided by two ocean circulation models. These newly developed regional MDT surfaces are compared to three state-of-theart models, which represent the oceanographic, the geodetic and the mixed oceanographic/geodetic approaches in the implementation of the MDT, respectively. Based on these comparisons, we discuss the differences between the three approaches for the case study area and we present some valuable findings regarding the computation of the regional MDT. Furthermore, in order to have an estimate of the precision of the oceanographic approach, we apply extensive evaluation tests on the ability of the two regional ocean circulation models to track the sea level variations by comparing their solutions to tide gauge records and satellite altimetry Sea Level Anomalies (SLA) data. The overall findings support the claim that, for the computation of the MDT surface due to the lack of geodetic data and to limitations of the Global Geopotential Models (GGMs) in the case study area, the oceanographic approach is preferable over the geodetic or the mixed oceano-graphic/geodetic approaches.

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