EGU General Assembly 2022
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Synergistic use of tide gauges, satellite altimetry and GPS data for sea level studies

Francesco De Biasio1 and Stefano Vignudelli2
Francesco De Biasio and Stefano Vignudelli
  • 1CNR-ISP - National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Polar Sciences, Venice, Italy (
  • 2CNR-IBF - National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Biophysics, Pisa, Italy (

The relationship between satellite-derived absolute sea level change rates, tide gauge (TG) observations of relative sea level change and global positioning system (GPS) measurements of vertical land motion (VLM) at local scale has been investigated in previous studies [eg. Vignudelli et al., 2018]. The paucity of collocated TG-GPS data and the lack of a well-established mathematical frame in which simultaneous and optimal solutions can be derived, have emphasized the difficulty of deriving spatially-consistent information on the sea level rates. Other studies have claimed the possibility to set locally isolated information into a coherent regional framework using a constrained linear inverse problem approach [Kuo et al., 2004; Wöppelmann and Marcos, 2012].

The approach cited in the above papers has been recently improved in De Biasio et al. [2020]. A step in advance is now to develop an effective synergistic use of global positioning system (GPS) data, tide gauge measurements and satellite altimetry observations. In this study GPS data are used as a real source of information on the relative Vertical Land Motion (VLM) between pairs of tide gauges, and not as mere term of comparison of the results obtained by differencing relative and absolute sea level observations time series.

Long, consistent and collocated tide gauge and GPS observations time series are extracted for a handful of suitable coastal locations, and used in the original formulation of the constrained linear inverse problem, together with satellite altimetry data. Some experiments are conducted without GPS observations (traditional setup), and with GPS observations (the new proposed approach) Results are compared in order to assess the impact of GPS observations directly into the formulation of the constrained linear inverse problem.

The satellite altimetry data-set used in this study is that offered by the European Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) through its Climate Data Store archive. It covers the global ocean since 1993 to present, with spatial resolution of 0.25 x 0.25 degrees. This data set is constantly updated and relies only on a couple of simultaneous altimetry missions at a time to provide stable long-term variability estimates of sea level. Tide gauge data are extracted from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level archive and from other local sea level monitoring services. GPS vertical position time series and/or VLM rates are taken from the Nevada Geodetic Laboratory and other public GPS repositories.


Vignudelli, S.; De Biasio, F.; Scozzari, A.; Zecchetto, S.; Papa, A. In Proceedings of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia; Mertikas, S.P., Pail, R., Eds.; Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2020; Volume 150, pp. 65–74. DOI: 10.1007/1345_2018_51

Kuo, C.Y.; Shum, C.K.; Braun, A.; Mitrovica, J.X. Geophys. Res. Lett. 2004, 31. DOI: 10.1029/2003GL019106

Wöppelmann, G.; Marcos, M. J. Geophys. Res. Ocean. 2012, 117. DOI: 10.1029/2011JC007469

De Biasio, F.; Baldin, G.; Vignudelli, S. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 949. DOI: 10.3390/jmse8110949

How to cite: De Biasio, F. and Vignudelli, S.: Synergistic use of tide gauges, satellite altimetry and GPS data for sea level studies, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8092,, 2022.


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