Evaluation of new CryoSat-2 products over the ocean

Calafat, F.M.; Cipollini, P.; Bouffard, J.; Snaith, H.; Féménias, P.. 2017 Evaluation of new CryoSat-2 products over the ocean. Remote Sensing of Environment, 191. 131-144.

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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Remote Sensing of Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was/will be published in Remote Sensing of Environment
C-2_evaluation_revised_2_submit.docx - Accepted Version

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The CryoSat-2 satellite, primarily dedicated to precise monitoring of the Cryosphere, is demonstrating its capability to provide valuable altimetric data also over the ocean. Here we present the results of a global assessment and validation of the new Geophysical Ocean Product (GOP) distributed by the European Space Agency (ESA) since April 2014, focusing on the sea surface height anomaly (SSHA), the significant wave height (SWH), and the wind speed. Our assessment involves only Low Resolution Mode (LRM) and Pseudo LRM (PLRM) data, since full SAR processing is not already operationally implemented in the GOP. The global assessment is conducted on the basis of measurement noise and along-track spectral and crossover analysis, whereas the validation is performed against a variety of in situ observations such as tide gauges, buoys and Argo floats as well as data from the WaveWatch III (WWIII) model. The performance of the GOP is compared to that of Jason-2 and CryoSat-2 data from the Radar Altimeter Database System (RADS). The mean value of the 20-Hz SSHA noise at 2 m SWH is 6.3 cm for LRM and 10.2 cm for PLRM, and the standard deviation of the crossovers is ~ 5.4 cm. The mean 20-HZ SWH noise over the global oceans is 49.4 cm and 69.8 cm, for LRM and PLRM respectively. CryoSat-2 and Jason-2 show almost identical performance when SSHAs are validated against tide gauges, with a median correlation and root mean square difference (RMSD) of 0.78 and 7.1 cm for the GOP, 0.76 and 7.3 cm for Jason-2, and 0.79 and 7.8 cm for CryoSat-2 from RADS. The median correlation with Argo-derived steric heights is 0.68 for the GOP, 0.74 for Jason-2, and 0.67 for CryoSat-2 from RADS. However, the correlation shows a strong latitudinal dependence, with higher values at low latitudes (median value larger than 0.80 in the 10°S-10°N band). The median RMSD between the SSHAs and steric heights is 5.3 cm for the GOP, 4.6 cm for Jason-2, and 5.1 cm for CryoSat-2 from RADS. The GOP and Jason-2 show also identical performance when SWHs are compared to buoy data, with a slope and RMS error of 0.98 and 15 cm for GOP, 0.97 and 16 cm for Jason-2, and 1.05 and 17 cm for CryoSat-2 from RADS. On the other hand, the GOP wind speed exhibits a bias of about 2 m/s relative to both Jason-2 and to buoy data. Differences between the GOP and WWIII SWH are smaller than 20% of the SWH almost everywhere. In summary the GOP products are fit for oceanographic applications.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00344257
Additional Keywords: CryoSat-2; Jason-2; Satellite altimetry; Validation; Sea surface height anomaly; Significant wave height; Wind speed
Date made live: 30 Jan 2017 17:09 +0 (UTC)

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