Current state of art of satellite altimetry

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Abstract

One of the fundamental problems of modern geodesy is precise defi nition of the gravitational fi eld and its changes in time. This is essential in positioning and navigation, geophysics, geodynamics, oceanography and other sciences related to the climate and Earth’s environment. One of the major sources of gravity data is satellite altimetry that provides gravity data with almost 75% surface of the Earth. Satellite altimetry also provides data to study local, regional and global geophysical processes, the geoid model in the areas of oceans and seas. This technique can be successfully used to study the ocean mean dynamic topography. The results of the investigations and possible products of altimetry will provide a good material for the GGOS (Global Geodetic Observing System) and institutions of IAS (International Altimetry Service). This paper presents the achievements in satellite altimetry in all the above disciplines obtained in the last years. First very shorly basic concept of satellite altimetry is given. In order to obtain the highest accuracy on range measurements over the ocean improved of altimetry waveforms performed on the ground is described. Next, signifi cant improvements of sea and ocean gravity anomalies models developed presently is shown. Study of sea level and its extremes examined, around European and Australian coasts using tide gauges data and satellite altimetry measurements were described. Then investigations of the phenomenon of the ocean tides, calibration of altimeters, studies of rivers and ice-sheets in the last years are given.

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Geodesy and Cartography

The Journal of Committee on Geodesy of Polish Academy of Sciences

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