Abstract's details

Linking the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level's (PSMSL) global mean sea level dataset to the ellipsoid

Andrew Matthews (National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom)


Elizabeth Bradshaw (National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom); Chanmi Kim (National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom); Chris Banks (National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom)

Event: 2023 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Regional and Global CAL/VAL for Assembling a Climate Data Record

Presentation type: Type Poster

Contribution: PDF file


The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) is the internationally recognised global sea level data bank for long term sea level change information from tide gauges, responsible for the collection, publication, analysis and interpretation of sea level data. The PSMSL was founded 90 years ago, and today operates from the Liverpool site of the UK's National Oceanography Centre.

The PSMSL's main product, a dataset of monthly and annual means from over 2000 locations worldwide aggregated from over 200 suppliers, is a cornerstone in our understanding of changes in sea level over the two centuries. For our highest quality Revised Local Reference (RLR) dataset, we ensure the data can all be referred to a fixed point on land, ensuring a consistent vertical reference frame is used throughout the record.

A common question asked of the PSMSL is how this relative sea level dataset can be compared to measurements taken in a geocentric reference frame, particularly altimetry data. This is usually done using data from a permanent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver located near the gauge. Estimates of the ellipsoidal height and rate of movement of the site are produced in GNSS solutions, and the results are distributed by centres such as our colleagues at the Système d'Observation du Niveaux des Eaux Littorales (SONEL). By collecting results of geodetic surveys of the sites performed by data suppliers and setting up automated metadata exchange schemes, PSMSL are able to share these results with users of our website.

Here we introduce the PSMSL mean sea level dataset, and explain how we present these ellipsoidal ties on our website. We also discuss ongoing efforts to improve the breadth of metadata we supply, and attempts to ensure they meet FAIR data practices (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

Poster show times:

Room Start Date End Date
Esperanza Beach Room (Lobby) Wed, Nov 08 2023,16:15 Wed, Nov 08 2023,18:00
Esperanza Beach Room (Lobby) Thu, Nov 09 2023,14:00 Thu, Nov 09 2023,15:45
Andrew Matthews
National Oceanography Centre
United Kingdom