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An absolute calibration site for radar altimeters in the continental domain: Lake Issykkul in Central Asia

Jean-François Cretaux 1 Stéphane Calmant 1 Vladimir Romanovski 2 Anton Shabunin 2 Florent Lyard 3 Muriel Berge-Nguyen 4 Anny Cazenave 1 Fabrice Hernandez 5 Felix Perosanz 6
1 GOHS
LEGOS - Laboratoire d'études en Géophysique et océanographie spatiales
3 ECOLA - Echanges Côte-Large
LEGOS - Laboratoire d'études en Géophysique et océanographie spatiales
5 OLVAC - Océan du Large et Variabilité Climatique
LEGOS - Laboratoire d'études en Géophysique et océanographie spatiales
Abstract : Altimetry missions such as Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1, GFO and ENVISAT have been widely used in the continental domain over lakes, rivers and wetland although they were mostly dedicated to oceanic studies. Knowledge of the instrumental biases is a key issue. Numerous sites have been dedicated to calibration purposes, either in the oceanic domain (Harvest offshore platform in California, Corsica, Bass Strait in Australia) or over lakes (Lake Erie in United States). A new site (Lake Issykkul in Kirghizstan) is proposed for calibration in the continental domain. This lake is covered by past (T/P) and current radar altimetry satellites (Jason-1, T/P, GFO, and ENVISAT). Several in situ water levels and local meteorological variables are available at the site. Located in a mountainous area, it offers an opportunity for calibration far away from all other existing sites and very different environment contexts. Two GPS campaigns have been conducted on the lake in 2004 and in 2005. They consisted of cruises with stations installed onboard a boat following the satellite ground tracks, and onshore settings. This enabled estimating a bias for each altimeter and each tracking algorithm available. Biases obtained for Envisat, GFO, T/P and Jason-1 using the default ocean tracker (respectively, 48.1 +/- 6.6, 7.5 +/- 4.0, 0 +/- 4.3 and 7.0 +/- 5.5 cm) agree with biases published at the other calibration sites. For Jason-1, there is a significant disagreement with results obtained in the ocean field (7 cm instead of 13 cm) but is coherent with bias obtained on the Lake Erie site. Erroneous estimates of the sea state bias correction from non-oceanic-like waveforms is discussed as a possible explanation. Errors in the ionospheric, wet and dry tropospheric corrections for the continental domain are also highlighted and quantified.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00409135
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 6, 2009 - 9:41:47 AM
Last modification on : Friday, January 10, 2020 - 9:10:13 PM

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Jean-François Cretaux, Stéphane Calmant, Vladimir Romanovski, Anton Shabunin, Florent Lyard, et al.. An absolute calibration site for radar altimeters in the continental domain: Lake Issykkul in Central Asia. Journal of Geodesy, Springer Verlag, 2009, 83 (8), pp.723-735. ⟨10.1007/s00190-008-0289-7⟩. ⟨hal-00409135⟩

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