Improving resolution and accuracy of mean sea surface from kinematic GPS, Vanuatu subduction zone

Abstract : Satellite altimetry provides an ocean mean sea surface (MSS) map with global coverage and overall excellent precision. However, in some areas, like the Vanuatu archipelago, the coverage and resolution of this tool are not sufficient to correctly map the short scale undulations of the sea surface, due to numerous islands and to strong lithospheric and mantle heterogeneities. New applications such as seafloor geodesy may require local mean surface representation with improved resolution in specific areas. We used sea surface height collected with kinematic GPS during three different cruises in 2004, 2006 and 2007 to reconstruct a homogeneous sea surface map around Santo Island, Vanuatu. We assess the accuracy of this GPS-derived local sea surface to 6–19 cm and evaluate the quality of existing altimetry and gravity-derived MSSs on the Vanuatu archipelago. Observed short scale undulations are interpreted as due to local geodynamics.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 26, 2010 - 11:21:40 AM
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M.N. Bouin, V. Ballu, S. Calmant, B. Pelletier. Improving resolution and accuracy of mean sea surface from kinematic GPS, Vanuatu subduction zone. Journal of Geodesy, Springer Verlag, 2009, 83 (11), pp.1017-1030. ⟨10.1007/s00190-009-0320-7⟩. ⟨hal-00460073⟩

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