Abstract's details

Physically-consistent mapped altimetry products on user-customizable grids

Cimarron Wortham (NorthWest Research Associates, United States)


Jeffrey Early (NorthWest research Associates, United States); Arthur Guillaumin (Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom)

Event: 2023 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Application development for Operations (ROUND TABLE)

Presentation type: Type Poster

Contribution: PDF file


Mapped sea surface height (SSH) anomaly products from satellite altimetry are an integral part of modern oceanography, widely used in both scientific and operational contexts. However, we note three significant limitations of the present mapped products and distribution system. 1) The correlation function imposed by the most common mapped products is physically unrealistic and inconsistent with the underlying along-track observations. This correlation function artificially steepens spectral slopes in mapped SSH products, essentially throwing away information about small scales. 2) Effective resolution, signal covariance, errors, and uncertainties in mapped products are often misunderstood by users, leading to mis-application of altimetry products. 3) Scientists often require the SSH field on a custom grid, and either apply additional interpolation or improvise their own mapping procedures.

We attempt to address these three issues. Our approach is based on standard Gaussian process regression methods with a carefully chosen parametric covariance function that is consistent with observations. Covariance parameters (space and time decorrelation scales, spectral slopes, and propagation speeds) are estimated from along-track data, and will be presented as part of the mapped data product. We also introduce an open-source, reproducible tool that allows statistical SSH mapping on custom grids by end users. The final distributed products are fully open source and flexible to meet the needs of scientists.


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
Cimarron Wortham
NorthWest Research Associates
United States