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Understanding coastal sea level change: products available

Sea level change represents a hazard for populations inhabiting coastal zones.  Yet current knowledge is limited as absolute sea level changes at the coast may differ significantly from open ocean due to a number of reasons, including coastal dynamics and atmospheric forcing. Relative sea level will also be affected by vertical land movement, for instance subsidence.

Regional sea level trends over July 2002-June 2016 from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) sea level products.The Sea Level_cci project team present results of contemporary coastal sea level changes along the coast of Western Africa, obtained from a dedicated reprocessing of satellite altimetry data in a recent paper by Marti et al (2019).

The publication describes high sampling rate (20 Hz) sea level data from the Jason-1 and Jason-2 missions over a 14-year-long time span. 

Access the data product

The team have released the first version the XTRACK-ALES coastal sea level product, consisting of  along-track (Level 2P) high resolution (20Hz) sea level anomalies during the period 2002-2015 in some regions of the coastal world ocean including the North East Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Western Africa.

Access the product via the CCI sea level site. The  accompanying Product User Guide is available in the Public Documents section.

Future versions of the product are anticipated to include a temporal extension and three additional regions (Indian Ocean, SE Asia and SE Pacific). The use of the recent SAR-mode altimetry data from CryoSat and Copernicus Sentinel-3 will be investigated. This should pave the way to the adoption of data from the forthcoming Sentinel-6 Sea Level mission, due for launch in 2020"  

The contribution of reprocessed coastal altimetry to Sea Level Climate is expected to be one of the central topics of the 12th Coastal Altimetry Workshop ( to be held in ESRIN on 4-7 February 2020.