Abstract's details

Evaluation and exploitation of CryoSat ocean products for oceanographic studies

Chris Banks (National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom)


Francisco Mir Calafat (National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom); Helen Snaith (British Oceanographic Date Centre, United Kingdom); Christine Gommenginger (National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom); Andrew Shaw (SKYMAT Ltd., UK); Paolo Cipollini (Telespazio VEGA UK for ESA, UK); Nadim Dayoub (National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom); Jérôme Bouffard (ESA, Italy); Marco Meloni (Serco for ESA, Italy)

Event: 2019 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

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

Presentation type: Type Oral

Contribution: PDF file


CryoSat’s ability to operate in different operating modes over water surfaces led to the first in-orbit evidence of the value of SAR-mode altimetry, and continues to provide a wealth of information not just over ice but also over ice infested waters, the open ocean and coastal regions. After more than nine years in orbit, CryoSat routinely delivers a number of oceanographic products for global ocean applications. A dedicated operational CryoSat ocean processor (COP) has existed since April 2014 generating data products available in near real time (FDM/NOP), within ~3 days (IOP) and a geophysical ocean product (GOP) available within a month. An improved processing baseline was introduced in late 2017 and the same processing chain has now been applied to provide consistent ocean data products from the start of the mission.

Within the ESA funded CryOcean-QCV project, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in the UK is responsible for routine quality control and validation of CryoSat Ocean Products. Activities include the production of daily and monthly reports containing global assessments and quality control of sea surface height anomaly (SSHA), significant wave height (SWH), backscatter coefficient (Sigma0) and wind speed, as well as a suite of validation protocols involving in situ data, model output and data from other satellite altimetry missions. This presentation will review some of the metrics and results obtained for CryoSat Ocean Products for SSHA, SWH and wind speed when assessed against data from tide gauges, wind and wave buoys, WaveWatch III wave model output, HF radar surface current data and comparisons with Jason-2 and Jason-3. Example metrics include SSHA along-track power spectra and the characterisation of offsets and variability regionally and in different sea states.

In this presentation, we demonstrate the quality and scientific value of the CryoSat data in the open ocean where the altimeter operates mainly in conventional low-resolution-mode (LRM) but also over selected ocean regions where CryoSat operates in SAR-mode.
Finally, scientific exploitation of the CryoSat data for oceanographic studies will be illustrated, focusing on CryoSat sea surface height anomalies. We will present examples of the benefits of CryoSat ocean products for oceanographic studies based on a dedicated Level 3 gridded product, featuring investigations of propagating ocean features (e.g. Rossby-type wave propagation) and their signatures in CryoSat in comparisons with data from other sources including SMOS, Sentinel 3A and 3B.

Oral presentation show times:

Room Start Date End Date
The Forum Wed, Oct 23 2019,12:00 Wed, Oct 23 2019,12:15
Chris Banks
National Oceanography Centre
United Kingdom