The impact of nonlinear tide–surge interaction on satellite radar altimeter-derived tides

H. Guarneri*, M. Verlaan, D. C. Slobbe, J. Veenstra, F. Zijl, J. Pietrzak, M. Snellen, L. Keyzer, Y. Afrasteh, R. Klees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Both empirical and assimilative global ocean tidal models are significantly more accurate in the deep ocean than in shelf and coastal waters. In this study, we answered whether this is due to the quality of the models used to reduce tide and surge or the general approach to treat tide and surge as two separate components of the water level obtained from stand-alone models, which ignores the nonlinear tide–surge interaction. In doing so, we used tide gauge observations as partially synthetic altimeter time series, tide–surge water-level time series obtained with the 2D Dutch Continental Shelf Model–Flexible Mesh (DCSM), and tide and surge water-level time series obtained using the DCSM, FES2014 (FES) and the Dynamic Atmospheric Correction (DAC) product. Expressed in the root-sum-square (RSS) of the eight main tidal constituents, we obtained a reduction (Formula presented.) % when removing the DCSM tide–surge water levels compared to when we removed the sum of the DCSM tide and DCSM surge water levels. The RSS obtained in the latter case was only 3.3% lower than with FES and DAC. We conclude that the lower tidal estimates accuracy in shelf-coastal waters derives from the missing nonlinear tide–surge interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-270
Number of pages20
JournalMarine Geodesy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Harmonic analysis
  • satellite radar altimetry
  • shallow waters
  • tides
  • tide–surge interactions
  • variance reduction


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