Corsica: A 20-Yr Multi-Mission Absolute Altimeter Calibration Site

Pascal Bonnefond (Observatoire de Paris - SYRTE, France)


Olivier Laurain (OCA-Geoazur, France); Pierre Exertier (GET, France); Thierry Guinle (CNES, France); Pierre Féménias (ESA/ESRIN, Italy)

Event: 2020 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting (virtual)

Session: Regional and Global CAL/VAL for Assembling a Climate Data Record

Presentation type: Type Forum

Initially developed for monitoring the performance of TOPEX/Poseidon and follow-on Jason legacy satellite altimeters, the Corsica geodetic facilities that are located both at Senetosa Cape and near Ajaccio have been developed to calibrate successive satellite altimeters in an absolute sense. Since 1998, the successful calibration process used to calibrate most of the oceanographic satellite altimeter missions has been regularly updated in terms of in situ instruments, geodetic measurements and methodologies. In this study, we present an assessment of the long-term stability of the in situ instruments in terms of sea level monitoring that include a careful monitoring of the geodetic datum. Based on this 20+ years series of sea level measurements, we present a review of the derived absolute Sea Surface Height (SSH) biases for the following altimetric missions based on the most recent reprocessing of their data: TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1/2/3, Envisat and ERS-2, CryoSat-2, SARAL/AltiKa and Sentinel-3A&B. For the longest time series the standard error of the absolute SSH biases is now at a few millimeters level which is fundamental to maintain the high level of confidence that scientists have in the global mean sea level rise.
Pascal Bonnefond
Observatoire de Paris - SYRTE