The Accuracies of Smoothed Sea Surface Height Fields Constructed from Tandem Satellite Altimeter Datasets Public Deposited

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  • A technique previously developed for assessing the effects of sampling errors on sea surface height (SSH) fields constructed from satellite altimeter data is extended to include measurement errors, thus providing estimates of the total mean-squared error of the SSH fields. The measurement error contribution becomes an important consideration with the greater sampling density of a coordinated tandem satellite mission. Mean-squared errors are calculated for a variety of tandem altimeter sampling patterns. The resolution capability of each sampling pattern is assessed from a subjectively chosen but consistent set of criteria for the mean value and the spatial and temporal inhomogeneity of the root-mean-squared errors computed over a representative large collection of estimation times and locations. For a mean mapping error threshold tolerance criterion of 25% of the signal standard deviation, the filter cutoff wavelength and period defining the resolution capability of SSH fields constructed from a tandem TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) and Jason satellite sampling pattern with evenly spaced ground tracks are about 2.2° by 20 days. This can be compared with the resolution capability of about 6° by 20 days that can be obtained from a single altimeter in the T/P orbit. A tandem T/P–Jason mission with 0.75° spacing between simultaneously sampled parallel tracks that has been suggested for estimating geostrophic velocity yields an SSH mapping resolution capability of about 3.7° by 20 days. For the anticipated factor-of-2 larger orbit errors for ENVISAT compared with Jason, the resolution capability of a tandem Jason–ENVISAT scenario is about 3° by 20 days. For mapping the SSH field, the tandem T/P–Jason sampling patterns with evenly spaced, interleaved ground tracks and either a 5-day or a 0-day offset is far better than the other tandem altimeter mission scenarios considered here. For the highest-resolution mapping, the 5-day offset is preferable to the 0-day offset. The scientific benefits of such a tandem mission are discussed in the context of two specific examples: Rossby wave dispersion and investigation of eddy–mean flow interaction.
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  • Chelton, Dudley B., Michael G. Schlax, 2003: The Accuracies of Smoothed Sea Surface Height Fields Constructed from Tandem Satellite Altimeter Datasets. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 20, 1276–1302.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deborah Campbell (deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-02-20T17:25:46Z No. of bitstreams: 1 CheltonDudleyB.CEOAS.AccuraciesSmoothedSea.pdf: 2004218 bytes, checksum: ce9cabfd4b4dceed1336ea4153b8dd33 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-02-20T17:25:46Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 CheltonDudleyB.CEOAS.AccuraciesSmoothedSea.pdf: 2004218 bytes, checksum: ce9cabfd4b4dceed1336ea4153b8dd33 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2003-09

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