Articles | Volume 7, issue 6
Research article
08 Nov 2011
Research article |  | 08 Nov 2011

Mean Dynamic Topography of the Black Sea, computed from altimetry, drifter measurements and hydrology data

A. A. Kubryakov and S. V. Stanichny

Abstract. Mean Dynamic Topography (MDT) is a crucial parameter for estimating dynamic topography, and, therefore, geostrophic circulation from satellite altimetry measurements. In this work we use drifting buoy measurements, hydrographic profiles and along-track Sea Level Anomalies (SLA) to reconstruct MDT of the Black Sea by the "synthetic" method. Obtained MDT shows a lot of mesoscale features, which are not present in previous MDT fields of the Black Sea, mostly based on climatic data. Moreover, gradients of sea level in the synthetic MDT are significantly higher compared to other fields, which is evidence of more intense currents in the basin.

Validation of determined MDT field with independent dynamic heights and drifter buoy velocities shows good quantitative and qualitative coincidence over all Black Sea basin and improvements compare to previous fields.

New Black Sea MDT will improve quality of altimetry-derived geostrophic velocities and lead to better understanding of the spatial and temporal features of the upper layer dynamics.