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The effect of ocean tidal loading on satellite altimetry over Antarctica

  • Donghui Yi (a1) (a2), J. Bernard Minster (a2) and Charles R. Bentley (a1)


Vertical displacements of emerged land caused by oceanic tidal loading are of the order of several tens of millimetres in polar regions. They constitute a long wavelength signal, the amplitude of which is comparable to elevation changes that might be associated with climate-driven changes in ice-sheet volume. Using bilinear interpolation on a 1° by 1° global grid, we examine the amplitudes and phases of vertical displacements caused at any given epoch by the eight most important ocean tide constituents of recent ocean tide models, extrapolated to high latitudes. This permits estimation of the oceanic tidal loading corrections to measurements made by a satellite altimeter along the satellite ground track. We have done so systematically over Antarctica, for a scenario flight of ICESAT, which carries the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), whose primary science goal is to monitor ice-sheet mass balance. Ocean loading tide corrections near the coast of Antarctica can reach several centimetres; overall they average about 10 min.


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Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
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