Can we Reconstruct the 20th Century Sea Level Variability in the Mediterranean Sea on the Basis of Recent Altimetric Measurements?
The spatial sea level patterns, derived from Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis of satellite altimetry data, are combined with the few available long tide-gauge records at the coasts of the basin, in order to reconstruct sea level variability in the Mediterranean Sea. Cross correlations in the basin are explored, in order to assess to what extent the period of altimetric measurements is typical of the longer term variability of the region. Areas of intense mesoscale activity are not well correlated with the rest of the basin and in particular with the coastal areas. Thus, reconstruction of sea level in such areas is not possible. The first EOF from altimetry and the first EOF derived from tide-gauges are well correlated and permit reconstructions to be developed. For the tide-gauges used, the reconstruction of the sea level for the past century, based on data from the last decade, is at least as successful in describing the variance at the long tidegauges as reconstructions based on previous decades. The power spectrum of the tide-gauges shows energy at particular dominant frequencies albeit varying in time.
KeywordsEmpirical Orthogonal Function Mesoscale Variability Satellite Altimetry Data Levantine Basin Mesoscale Activity
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