Abstract's details

CryoSat Long-term Ocean Data Analysis and Validation

Marc Naeije (TU Delft, Netherlands)


Ernst Schrama (TU Delft, Netherlands); Jerome Bouffard (ESA - ESRIN, Italy); Marco Meloni (ESA - ESRIN, Italy)

Event: 2020 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting (virtual)

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

Presentation type: Type Forum only

Contribution: PDF file


ESA’s Earth Explorer CryoSat-2 mission is dedicated to precise measurement of the changes in the thickness of marine ice floating on the polar oceans and variations in the thickness of the vast ice sheets that overlie Greenland and Antarctica. With the effects of a fast-changing climate, particularly in the Polar Regions, it is increasingly important to understand exactly how Earth’s ice fields are responding. Diminishing ice cover is frequently cited as an early casualty of global warming and since ice plays an important role regulating climate and sea level, the consequences of change are far-reaching. To understand fully how climate change is affecting these remote but sensitive regions, there is an urgent need to determine exactly how the thickness of the ice, both on land and floating in the sea, is changing. By addressing this challenge, the data delivered by the CryoSat-2 mission completes the picture and leads to a better understanding of the ice role in the affected Earth system. In order to achieve this, the quality of the orbit, the measurements of the altimeter, and all required corrections have to meet the highest performance, and this not only over the ice caps and sea-ice surface but also over the oceans.

The objective of our research is the long-term analysis and validation of the CryoSat-2 Level-2 Geophysical Ocean Product (GOP). This is achieved by assessing the quality, consistency and stability of Level-2 GOP parameters, among which the sea level measurement and the orbital height, when compared to concurrent in situ data from e.g. tide gauges and transponders, when compared to relevant numerical ocean and meteorological models and when compared to other concurrent altimeter data sets in the Radar Altimeter Database System RADS. In particular the research presented here repeats earlier analyses on Baseline-B data, but now applied to Baseline-C data, and similar analyses on the prolonged data series.
Marc Naeije
TU Delft