Satellite altimetry has been monitoring the sea level since more than 25 years. Measurements in the coastal zone, however, were routinely discarded due to poor quality. Recently, several studies addressed various techniques to improve the precision and the accuracy of coastal sea level measurements.
Scientists at DGFI-TUM are reprocessing the satellite signals using the ALES algorithm and have set up an experimental platform to distribute corrected sea level anomalies with a documented procedure. The COastal Sea level Tailored ALES (COSTA) dataset is now available in the Mediterranean and in the North Sea and provides the user with time series at each point along the satellite tracks of two satellite missions (ERS-2 and Envisat) covering the years 1996-2010. The COSTA dataset improves the precision of the standard product in over 70% of the domain. Details are provided in the recent presentation ALES Coastal Processing Applied to ERS: Extending the Coastal Sea Level Time Series (10th Coastal Altimetry Workshop, 21-24 February 2017, Florence, Italy). COSTA guarantees therefore not only improvements in the coastal data, but it means also a step forward in the precision of satellite altimetry in the open sea.
COSTA data is available for download in our Science Data Products section.