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Journal Articles Ocean Science Year : 2021

The new CNES-CLS18 global mean dynamic topography


The mean dynamic topography (MDT) is a key reference surface for altimetry. It is needed for the calculation of the ocean absolute dynamic topography, and under the geostrophic approximation, the estimation of surface currents. CNES-CLS mean dynamic topography (MDT) solutions are calculated by merging information from altimeter data, GRACE, and GOCE gravity field and oceanographic in situ measurements (drifting buoy velocities, hydrological profiles). The objective of this paper is to present the newly updated CNES-CLS18 MDT. The main improvement compared to the previous CNES-CLS13 solution is the use of updated input datasets: the GOCO05S geoid model is used based on the complete GOCE mission (November 2009-October 2013) and 10.5 years of GRACE data, together with all drifting buoy velocities (SVP-type and Argo floats) and hydrological profiles (CORA database) available from 1993 to 2017 (instead of 1993-2012). The new solution also benefits from improved data processing (in particular a new wind-driven current model has been developed to extract the geostrophic component from the buoy velocities) and methodology (in particular the computation of the mediumscale GOCE-based MDT first guess has been revised). An evaluation of the new solution compared to the previous version and to other existing MDT solutions show significant improvements in both strong currents and coastal areas.


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hal-03278912 , version 1 (06-07-2021)



Sandrine Mulet, Marie-Hélène Rio, Hélène Etienne, Camila Artana, Mathilde Cancet, et al.. The new CNES-CLS18 global mean dynamic topography. Ocean Science, 2021, 17 (3), pp.789 - 808. ⟨10.5194/os-17-789-2021⟩. ⟨hal-03278912⟩
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