Comparison of surface current variations observed by TOPEX altimeter with TOLEX-ADCP data

Naoto Ebuchi, Kimio Hanawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Variations of surface current velocity derived by the TOPEX altimeter are compared with data from Tokyo-Ogasawara Line Experiment (TOLEX)-Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) monitoring for a period from October 1992 to July 1993. Since the locations of ADCP ship track and TOPEX altimeter ground tracks do not coincide with each other, and the temporal and spatial sampling are also different between the ADCP and altimeter observations, re-sampling, interpolation and smoothing in time and space are needed to the ADCP and altimeter data. First, the interpolated TOPEX sea surface height is compared with sea level data at Chichijima in the Ogasawara Islands. It is found that aliasing caused by the tidal correction error for M2 constituent in the TOPEX data is significant. Therefore, comparison of the TOPEX data with the TOLEX-ADCP data is decided to be made by using cross-track velocity components of the surface current, which are considered to be relatively less affected by the errors in the tidal correction. The cross-track velocity variations derived from the TOPEX sea surface heights agree well with those of the ADCP observations. The altimeterderived velocity deviations associated with transition of the Kuroshio paths coincide with the ADCP data. It is quantitatively confirmed that the TOPEX altimeter is reliable to observe the synoptic variations of surface currents including fluctuations of the Kuroshio axis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-362
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Oceanography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995 May 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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