Mean sea surface modelling from multi-satellite altimetry utilising frequency domain techniques

  • Robert A. Cullen

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A technique is presented for the development of a high precision and resolution Mean Sea Surface (MSS) model. The model utilises Radar altimetric sea surface heights extracted from the geodetic phase of the ESA ERS-1 mission. The methodology uses a modified Le Traon et al. (1995) cubic-spline fit of dual ERS-1 and TOPEX/Poseidon crossovers for the minimisation of radial orbit error. The procedure then uses Fourier domain processing techniques for spectral optimal interpolation of the mean sea surface in order to reduce residual errors within the model. Additionally, a multi-satellite mean sea surface integration technique is investigated to supplement the first model with additional enhanced data from the GEOSAT geodetic mission.The methodology employs a novel technique that combines the Stokes' and Vening-Meinsz' transformations, again in the spectral domain. This allows the presentation of a new enhanced GEOSAT gravity anomaly field.

Date of Award1998
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPhilip Moore (Supervisor)


  • Mean sea surface modelling
  • multi-satellite altimetry
  • frequency domain techniques
  • fast Fourier transform
  • marine geodesy
  • radar altimetry

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