Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 39–49 | Cite as

Coastal tides in West Greenland derived from tide gauge records

  • Andreas Richter
  • Søren Rysgaard
  • Reinhard Dietrich
  • John Mortensen
  • Dorthe Petersen


Based on pressure tide-gauge observations, sea-level records are derived for ten sites along the coast of West Greenland. The ocean tidal signal is extracted by a harmonic tidal analysis. The accuracy of the determined tidal constants is discussed in detail. The tides account for 85% of the observed sea-level standard deviation. The tide gauge records reveal significant shallow-water tidal effects, in particular compound and overtide amplitudes reaching 5 cm. The propagation of the tidal waves into the fjords depends strongly on local conditions and is in some cases accompanied by an amplification of the tidal amplitudes. The observed tidal signals are compared to the predictions of the global ocean tide model FES2004. At the outer coast, a good agreement is found. Inside the fjords, however, the model performs worse and tide gauge observations may still be indispensable when accurate tidal signals are required.


Tides Sea level Tide gauge Ocean tide model Greenland 



Part of the used sea-level data is from the Danish Maritime Safety Administration, made available by the British Oceanographic Data Centre. Air pressure data were provided by the Danish Meteorological Institute. The fieldwork was partly funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Richter
    • 1
  • Søren Rysgaard
    • 2
  • Reinhard Dietrich
    • 1
  • John Mortensen
    • 2
  • Dorthe Petersen
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für Planetare GeodäsieTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Greenland Climate Research Centre, Greenland Institute of Natural ResourcesNuukGreenland
  3. 3.Asiaq–Greenland SurveyNuukGreenland

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