EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Deciphering forcing mechanisms for dynamic sea level variations off the northeast US coast

Tong Lee, Ou Wang, Hong Zhang, Ian Fenty, and ichiro fukumori
Tong Lee et al.
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MS 300-323, Pasadena, California, United States of America (

Regional sea level change is strongly societal relevant. The knowledge about the forcing mechanisms for contemporary regional sea level variation is important to the evaluation of climate models and the fidelity of projected sea level changes using these models. Dynamic sea level variation off the northeast US coast has been a subject of significant interest of late. However, there is inadequate understanding about the forcing mechanisms and the underlying oceanic processes. The Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) state estimate reproduced well the observed interannual-to-decadal variation of dynamic sea level in the region during the satellite altimeter era. Here we use the ECCO adjoint sensitivity tools to quantify the relative contributions of local and remote winds, surface heat flux, and surface freshwater flux on dynamic sea level variation in this region. We further characterize the salient oceanic processes associated with different surface forcings on different time scales.

How to cite: Lee, T., Wang, O., Zhang, H., Fenty, I., and fukumori, I.: Deciphering forcing mechanisms for dynamic sea level variations off the northeast US coast, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6393,, 2020

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Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 24 Apr 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-6393, John M. Huthnance, 15 May 2020

    Dear Authors

    Have you thought of looking at the Nantucket sea level likewise as a response to sea-level (a) further NE along the shelf and (b) off-shelf - again directly and further to the NE?  I am thinking of recent papers by Anthony Wise, Chris Hughes et al. connecting these relations to coastal (nearly-) trapped waves as you do.

    Regards, John Huthnance

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Tong Lee, 16 May 2020

      Thanks for your comment John. The additional sensitivity calculation you suggested would be interesting indeed. We will likely do that after we finish the current manuscript.




      • CC2: Reply to AC1, John M. Huthnance, 16 May 2020

        Hello Tong

                Thank-you for your reply and good luck with the follow-up.