Monitoring Absolute Sea Level Change

by Bruce C. Douglas, Natl Geodetic Survey, Rockville, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


Global-scale monitoring of sea level change is a key component of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The NOAA Global Sea Level program incorporates state-of-the-art satellite and in situ technology to support national and international oceanographic and climate research programs, and provide for long term monitoring of sea level from interannual to centennial and longer time scales. The scientific and instrumentation requirements for the program are discussed, including the new technologies that make absolute sea level monitoring possible. These include the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Very long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), and altimeter satellites including GEOSAT, ERS-1, and TOPEX/POSEIDON. Absolute sea level stations will provide sea level records free of local and regional land movements, thereby improving estimates of true sea level change, and make possible absolute calibration of altimetric satellite data and accurate combinations of data from different missions.

Subject Headings: Sea level | Satellites | Global navigation satellite systems | Federal government | Oceanography | Global positioning systems | Telescopes | Weather forecasting

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