Observing Sea Levels in the China Seas from Satellite Altimetry

  • Xiangbo FengEmail author
  • Yongcun Cheng


Due to the threat of global warming, extensive studies of the natural and anthropogenic causes of sea level change have been performed. The use of satellite altimetry contributes enormously to such studies, especially where in situ observations are rare. This chapter highlights the authors’ recent investigations of sea level measurements in the China seas made by satellite altimetry. Different sea level components are investigated. Progress is being made towards a better estimation of the ocean tides in the China seas using a comprehensive combination of satellite altimetry products. The seasonal sea level cycle, another crucial component of sea level in the China seas, is also systematically studied by using different analysis approaches. We finally explore the long-term trends and variability of mean sea level by analyzing the latest (1993–2016) satellite altimetry. The relationships between mean sea level and large-scale ocean circulation and climate variability are also examined.


Satellite altimetry China seas Ocean tides Seasonal variability Inter-annual variability Mean sea level rise Climate impact 



We acknowledge the RADS (Radar Altimeter Database System), which enables users to select optimal corrections to altimetry data to decrease the effects of corrections on the retrieval of ocean tides. We also thank AVISO for making the satellite altimeter sea level records and DAC data retrievable (, and the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level for making the tide gauge data retrievable ( Climate indices are obtained via NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and Finally, we thank C. M. Thomas at the University of Reading for improving the paper writing, as well as two reviewers for their comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MeteorologyUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  2. 2.Beijing Piesat Information Technology Co. Ltd.BeijingChina
  3. 3.Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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