Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 83, Issue 9, pp 805–815 | Cite as

On the spectral consistency of the altimetric ocean and geoid surface: a one-dimensional example

  • Alberta AlbertellaEmail author
  • Reiner Rummel
Original Article


Geoid models from the new generation of satellite gravity missions, such as GRACE and GOCE, in combination with sea surface from satellite altimetry allow to obtain absolute dynamic ocean topography with rather high spatial resolution and accuracy. However, this implies combination of data with fundamentally different characteristics and different spatial resolutions. Spectral consistency would imply the removal of the short-scale features of the altimetric sea surface height by filtering, to provide altimetric data consistent with the resolution of the geoid field. The goal must be to lose as little as possible from the high precision of the altimetric signal. Using a one-dimensional example we show how the spectrum is changing when a function defined only on a limited domain (ocean in the real case) is extended or not as to cover the complete domain (the whole sphere in the real case). The results depend on the spectral characteristics of the altimetric signal and of the applied filter. Referring to the periodicity condition, as it is requested in the case of Fourier analysis, the action of the two classical filters (Ideal Low Pass and Gauss filter) and of two alternative procedures (wavelets and Slepian) is studied.


Altimetry Dynamic ocean topography Filtering Geoid Spectral consistency 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Astronomische und Physikalische GeodäsieTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany

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