Geodetic observation crucial to sea level monitoring

  • Albert Parker
Short Communication


The relative rate of rise of the sea levels measured by a tide gauge is made of a sea and a land component. The first is usually restricted to the global short-term effect of melting icecaps and expansion of water mass due to global temperature change. The second is often limited to the regional long-term effects of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). Sometimes, the regional subsidence, due to compaction and ground water withdrawal, is considered. Here we show as this assumption of regional subsidence fails to represent the relative sea level patterns of Sandy Hook, NJ, and The Battery, NY, as well as of Venezia Punta Della Salute, Venezia II, Trieste and Trieste II. The subsidence of the tide gauge instrument may only be addressed by the precise monitoring of the tide gauge vs. a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) antenna, even if the GNSS tracking is only recent and not yet very accurate. The relative sea level records are much more complicated than what is thought.


Tide gauge records Sea level rise Sea level acceleration Measurements Computations 


  1. Dixon TH, Amelung F, Ferretti A, Novali F, Rocca F, Dokka R, Sellall G, Kim S-W, Wdowinski S, Whitman D (2006) Subsidence and flooding in New Orleans. Nature 441:587–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Jones CE, An K, Blom RG, Kent JD, Ivins ER, Bekaert D (2016) Anthropogenic and geologic influences on subsidence in the vicinity of New Orleans, Louisiana. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 121(5):3867–3887Google Scholar
  3. Johnson CS, Miller KG, Browning JV, Kopp RE, Khan NS, Fan Y, Stanford SD, Horton BP (2018) The role of sediment compaction and groundwater withdrawal in local sea-level rise, Sandy Hook, New Jersey, USA. Quat Sci Rev 181:30–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Mörner NA (2013) Sea level changes past records and future expectations. Energy & Environment 24(3–4):509–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Parker A, Saad Saleem M, Lawson M (2013) Sea-level trend analysis for coastal management. Ocean & Coastal Management 73:63–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Parker A (2015) Accuracy and reliability issues in the use of global positioning system and satellite altimetry to infer the absolute sea level rise, Journal of Satellite. Oceanogr Meteorol 1(1):13–23Google Scholar
  7. Parker A, Ollier CD (2016) Coastal planning should be based on proven sea level data. Ocean Coast Manag 124:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.BundooraAustralia

Personalised recommendations