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The Accidental Tide Gauge: A GPS Reflection Case Study From Kachemak Bay, Alaska

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4 Author(s)
Larson, K.M. ; Dept. of Aerosp. Eng. Sci., Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA ; Ray, R.D. ; Nievinski, F.G. ; Freymueller, J.T.

For the last decade, it has been known that reflected GPS signals observed with specialized instruments could be used to measure sea level. In this letter, data from an existing geodetic-quality GPS site near Kachemak Bay, Alaska, are analyzed for a one-year time period. Daily sea-level variations are more than 7 m. Tidal coefficients have been estimated and compared with coefficients estimated from records from a traditional tide gauge at Seldovia Harbor, ~ 30 km away. The GPS and Seldovia estimates of M2 and S2 coefficients agree to better than 2%; much of this residual can be attributed to true differences in the tide over 30 km as it propagates up Kachemak Bay. For daily mean sea levels the agreement is 2.3 cm. Because a standard geodetic GPS receiver/antenna is used, this GPS instrument can measure long-term sea-level changes in a stable terrestrial reference frame.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 5 )