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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  03 Feb 2020

03 Feb 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Coastal Sea Level rise at Senetosa (Corsica) during the Jason altimetry missions

Yvan Gouzenes1, Fabien Léger1, Anny Cazenave1,2, Florence Birol1, Pascal Bonnefond3, Marcello Passaro4, Fernando Nino1, Rafael Almar1, Olivier Laurain5, Christian Schwatke4, Jean-François Legeais6, and Jérôme Benveniste7 Yvan Gouzenes et al.
  • 1LEGOS, Toulouse
  • 2ISSI, Bern
  • 3Observatoire de Paris-SYRTE, Paris
  • 4TUM, Munich
  • 5Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur-Géoazur, Sophia-Antipoli
  • 6CLS, Ramonville St Agne
  • 7ESA-ESRIN, Frascati

Abstract. In the context of the ESA Climate Change Initiative project, we are engaged in a regional reprocessing of high-resolution (20 Hz) altimetry data of the classical missions in a number of coastal zones worldwide. It is done using the ALES (Adaptive Leading Edge Subwaveform) retracker combined with the X-TRACK system dedicated to improve geophysical corrections at the coast. Using the Jason-1 & 2 satellite data, high-resolution, along-track sea level time series have been generated and coastal sea level trends have been computed over a 14-year time span (from July 2002 to June 2016). In this paper, we focus on a particular coastal site where a Jason track crosses land, Senetosa, located south of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea, for two reasons: (1) the rate of sea level rise estimated in this project increases significantly in the last 4–5 km to the coast, compared to what is observed further offshore, and (2) Senetosa is the calibration site for the Topex/Poseidon and Jason altimetry missions, equipped for that purpose with in situ instrumentation, in particular tide gauges and GNSS antennas. A careful examination of all the potential errors that could explain the increased rate of sea level rise close to the coast (e.g., spurious trends in the geophysical corrections, imperfect intermission bias estimate, decrease of valid data close to the coast and errors in waveform retracking) has been carried out, but none of these effects appear able to explain the trend increase. We further explored the possibility it results from real physical processes. Change in wave conditions was investigated but wave set up was excluded as a potential contributor because of too small magnitude and too localized in the immediate vicinity of the shoreline. Preliminary model-based investigation about the contribution of coastal currents indicates that it could be a plausible explanation of the observed change in sea level trend close to the coast.

Yvan Gouzenes et al.

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Yvan Gouzenes et al.

Yvan Gouzenes et al.


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Latest update: 04 Aug 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This study provides for the first time estimates of sea level anomalies very close to the coastline, based on high-resolution retracked altimetry data, as well as corresponding sea level trends over a 14-year time span. This new information so far not provided by standard altimetry data.
This study provides for the first time estimates of sea level anomalies very close to the...