Reconstruction of Mediterranean sea level fields for the period 1945–2000

Mir Calafat, F. ORCID:; Gomis, D.. 2009 Reconstruction of Mediterranean sea level fields for the period 1945–2000. Global and Planetary Change, 66 (3-4). 225-234.

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The distribution of sea level in the Mediterranean Sea is recovered for the period 1945–2000 by using a reduced space optimal interpolation analysis. The method involves estimating empirical orthogonal functions from satellite altimeter data spanning the period 1993–2005 that are then combined with tide gauge data to recover sea level fields over the period 1945–2000. The reconstruction technique is discussed and its robustness is checked through different tests. For the altimetric period (1993–2000) the prediction skill is quantified over the whole domain by comparing the reconstructed fields with satellite altimeter observations. For past times the skill can only be tested locally, by validating the reconstruction against independent tide gauge records. The reconstructed distribution of sea level trends for the period 1945–2000 shows a positive peak in the Ionian Sea (up to 1.5 mm yr− 1) and a negative peak of − 0.5 mm yr− 1 in a small area to the south-east of Crete. Positive trends are found nearly everywhere, being larger in the western Mediterranean (between 0.5 and 1 mm yr− 1) than in the eastern Mediterranean (between 0 and 0.5 mm yr− 1). The estimated rate of mean sea level rise for the period 1945–2000 is 0.7 ± 0.2 mm yr− 1, i.e. about a half of the rate estimated for global mean sea level. These overall results do not appear to be very sensitive to the distribution of tide gauges. The poorest results are obtained in open-sea regions with intense mesoscale variability not correlated with any tide gauge station, such as the Algerian Basin.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 09218181
Date made live: 27 Sep 2019 11:24 +0 (UTC)

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