20 Apr 2022
20 Apr 2022

Reconstruction of Mediterranean coastal sea level at different timescales based on tide gauge records

Jorge Ramos Alcántara1, Damià Gomis1, and Gabriel Jordà2 Jorge Ramos Alcántara et al.
  • 1Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats (IMEDEA, University of the Balearic Islands – CSIC). Esporles (Mallorca), 07190, Spain
  • 2Centre Oceanogràfic de Balears, C.N. Instituto Español de Oceanografía (CSIC), Palma de Mallorca, 07015, Spain

Abstract. A coastal sea level reconstruction based on tide gauge observations is developed and applied to the western basin of the Mediterranean sea. The reconstructions are carried out in four frequency bands and are based on an optimal interpolation method in which the correlation between tide gauge data and all coastal points has been determined from the outputs of a numerical model. The reconstructions for frequencies lower than 1 month use monthly observations from the PSMSL database and cover the period from 1884 to 2019. For the reconstruction of higher frequencies, hourly observations from the GESLA–2 dataset are used, and cover from 1980 to 2015. Total sea level is retrieved with high accuracy from the merging of the different frequency bands. Results of a cross–validation test show that independent tide gauge series are highly correlated with the reconstructions. Moreover, they correlate significantly better with the reconstructions than with altimetry data in all frequency bands, and therefore the reconstruction represents a valuable contribution to the attempts of recovering coastal sea level. The obtained reconstructions allow the characterization of the coastal sea level variability, to estimate coastal sea level trends and to examine the correlation between Western Mediterranean coastal sea level and the main North Atlantic climate indices. The limitations and applicability of the method to other regions are also discussed.

Jorge Ramos Alcántara et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-169', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Aug 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Jorge Ramos Alcántara, 21 Sep 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-169', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 Aug 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Jorge Ramos Alcántara, 21 Sep 2022

Jorge Ramos Alcántara et al.

Jorge Ramos Alcántara et al.


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Short summary
In a context of climate change, having sea level data all along the coast is essential. However, tide gauges yield pointwise observations and satellite altimetry has limitations at the coast. We present a method that, learning from a several-years model output and using tide gauge observations only, is able to reconstruct sea level all along the coast. The accuracy of the reconstruction has been validated against independent observations and proved to be better than that of satellite altimetry.