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Assessing the accuracy of predicted ocean tide loading displacement values

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nigel Penna


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The accuracy of ocean tide loading (OTL) displacement values has long been assumed to be dominated by errors in the ocean tide models used, with errors due to the convolution scheme used considered very small (2-5%). However, this paper shows that much larger convolution errors can arise at sites within approximately 150 km of the coastline, depending on the method used to refine the discrete regularly spaced grid cells of the ocean tide model to better fit the coastline closest to the site of interest. If the local water mass redistribution approach is implemented, as used in the OLFG/OLMPP software recommended in the IERS 2003 conventions, OTL height displacement errors of up to around 20% can arise, depending on the ocean tide model used. Bilinear interpolation only, as used in the SPOTL and CARGA softwares for example, is shown from extensive global and regional comparisons of OTL displacement values derived from the different methods and softwares to be more appropriate. This is verified using GPS observations. The coastal refinement approach used in the OLFG/OLMPP software was therefore changed in August 2007 to use bilinear interpolation only. It is shown that with this change, OTL displacement values computed using OLFG/OLMPP, SPOTL and CARGA invariably agree to the millimetre level for coastal sites, and better than 0.2 mm for sites more than about 150 km inland. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Penna NT, Bos MS, Baker TF, Scherneck H-G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Geodesy

Year: 2008

Volume: 82

Issue: 12

Pages: 893-907

ISSN (print): 0949-7714

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1394

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00190-008-0220-2


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Funder referenceFunder name
SFRH/BPD/26985/2006Ciencia e a Tecnologia (FCT)